Buckley’s dental clinic spreads hygiene awareness to young minds

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica Huggins
  • 460th Space Wing Public Affairs

Members of Buckley’s dental clinic have a responsibility to their patients, but they decided to take that a step further by spreading dental health awareness to children on base. The first inaugural events for Buckley were inspired by National Children’s Dental Health Month, a nationwide public health event that occurs yearly in the dental community.

The clinic sent members to the Base Exchange where they set up fun, yet educational, displays to convey positive messages about going to the dentist to children of the community. Other members went to the Child Development Center to speak to small audiences of kids in hopes of alleviating their young minds of the apprehension that can come with dental visits.

“Children’s Dental Health Month is always a positive experience,” said Tech. Sgt. Jacqueline Woodard, 460th Medical Group certified registered dental hygienist.  “But it was extra special to organize Buckley Air Force Base’s first ever event.”

 According to Woodard, Children’s Dental Health Month is a preventative and primary measure in dentistry.

“If we can educate children and their parents, guardians or caretakers in disease prevention, we can omit the need for secondary or tertiary treatment needs,” said Woodard.

A lack of home care and proper oral hygiene can lead to issues such as pain and low self-esteem, and dental cavities can affect cognitive development, according to Woodard.  Oral health conditions are often indicators of underlying systemic conditions, which pushes the importance of regular dental visits to detect, treat and eliminate these issues.

She added that by teaching proper oral hygiene as a preventative measure, insurance companies, public health sources and families can avoid wasting valuable monetary resources.

“I feel I accomplished a positive outlook for the Buckley parents who are our patients of the new dental clinic,” said Woodard. “Also, I feel I eliminated some dental anxiety for some young patients and gave them a fun time while learning valuable health information.”