The Dental Hygiene Program will be hosting their annual Acelero Head Start Program in Room 100 at L’Hommedieu Hall on Oct. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
Acelero Head Start children must have an annual examination for their oral care.
Dr. Michelle Roman, Chairperson of the Dental Hygiene Program, said, “We have had a relationship with Acelero Head Start for over 10 years and we see children from that program twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring.”
According to a PowerPoint presentation by Roman, 700 children with limited resources are screened at the clinic.
Roman said, “During the event, we provide free dental exam cleaning, fluoride treatment and patient education.”
According to Roman’s presentation, the dental screening will have a chart that covers cavities, tooth restoration, missing teeth, extraoral examination and intraoral examination.
Natalie Biondi, a senior dental hygiene student, said this is one of several outreaches that the dental hygiene program does, and she loves taking care of the community.
Roman said, “All of our senior students participate in this event. Our senior students do the dental cleaning, fluoride and home care instructions. Our clinic dentists perform dental examinations and look for dental disease.”
Abigail Obembe, another senior dental hygiene student, said the dental hygiene students will provide toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash to the kids during the program.
According to Roman’s presentation, the kids will also be provided with Middlesex College flyers and a book about caring for children’s teeth.
Jordan Vertone, the supervisor of Middlesex College’s Starbucks, said, “I think it’s a great opportunity. A lot of students may not receive dental care as they should or simply can’t afford it. This gives them a chance to get the help they need when they need it most. I’m all for it.”
Obembe said, “Our goal is to demonstrate patient education regarding how they can best care for their teeth. Simple and age-appropriate ways, while also emphasizing the importance of our primary teeth (baby teeth) and how they are the guide for our permanent teeth (adult teeth) to come in. All this is done in a fun and creative way that encourages good oral hygiene habits. I’m so excited to be a part of such a wonderful cause.”
A child can come in after the clinicians review the child’s medical history and the faculty gives approval prior to treatment.
According to the presentation, there will be puppeteers greeting the children as they enter. They will entertain the children when they return to the waiting room after being examined.
Dr. Shannon Bertha-Angulo, a professor at Middlesex College, said, “The Acelero Head Start Program is an excellent example of what Middlesex College can provide for our community. In addition to providing access to quality and affordable education, part of our institution’s mission is to strengthen the economic, social and cultural life of the community — and that is what this program helps to do. Providing preventative health care to children whose families do not have insurance is a tremendous service to our community. I commend Dr. Roman and the Dental Hygiene professors, students, and partners who worked so hard on this initiative.”
Roman said, “Every year we look forward to this event. We call them our friends: Our Acelero Head Start Friends.”
Find out more about the Acelero Head Start Program through this link: https://almm.acelero.net/about-us.
If you are interested in signing up your children for the Acelero Head Start Program, here is the link to the online application:
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