• Hillcrest Dental Care Recognizes National Children's Health Month with Visits to Local Schools 03/01/2012
February was National Children's Dental Health Month and Hillcrest Dental Care took part in this month-long observance by visiting students in several elementary schools in Berkshire County with support from a $2,500 donation from Greylock Federal Credit Union. Registered dental hygienists from Hillcrest Dental Care volunteered their time for the second consecutive year, to visit with local students to talk with them about good oral hygiene and nutrition.
Hillcrest Dental Operations Director Tricia Hunt said, "This is one of my favorite programs because the children respond so positively and truly enjoy the sessions. It's fun for us as well. Our team personally gets as much from this outreach as the kids do learning about healthy oral hygiene habits".
According to the May 2000 Surgeon General's report, Oral Health in America, dental caries (tooth decay) is the single most common chronic childhood disease - 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. And of the 4 million children born each year, more than half will have cavities by the time they reach 2nd grade, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
"When problems in the mouth go unnoticed or untreated, they can spread to other places in the body. That's why preventative care is so important for children at this stage in their growth," said Hunt.
The hygienists visit the schools and meet with pre-school through 4th grade classrooms and focus on teaching children that they are partners with them in caring for their teeth. Children learn how cavities can be avoided with a balanced diet, healthy snacks, brushing and flossing each day. Regular dental check-ups are also a key to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Schools that have been or will be visited in March are Sterns Elementary School, Robert T. Capeless Elementary School, Egremont Elementary, Allendale Elementary School all in Pittsfield; Craneville Elementary in Dalton; North Adams Elementary School; and Lee Elementary School. In all, over 1,000 students have been part of this program.