ST. GEORGE — Not many people enjoy the thought of going to the dentist, especially when you’re bound to hear drills and scrapers echoing in your mouth.
While it is important to take care of teeth, visits can become so expensive they get neglected altogether. Those without dental insurance could put it off or just avoid the dentist — enough to put anyone’s teeth at risk.
A partnership between Dixie State University and The Learning Center for Families fills the gap.
“There’s a lot of people who haven’t ever seen a dentist, who have never had a dental cleaning, and so we reach out to those families who wouldn’t get it otherwise,” said Dr. Tyler Torres, DDS at Dixie Pediatric Dental.
With Dixie’s accredited dental hygiene program, students gain real-world experience by seeing patients who have a variety of needs. The program is a win-win for families who qualify for free dental work and the students who need clients.
“Part of dentistry, what we want to do, is help prevent dental decay,” Torres said. “It’s five time more common than childhood asthma. As so, a little bit of knowledge can go a long ways for these families.”
For Mysti and Timothy Bowman, going to the dentist is especially important now that they have an 11-month-old daughter who is teething.
“For me, I haven’t had dental in years,” said dental patient Timothy Bowman. “None of my jobs have provided it. I want to make sure that we can get on her dental. Maybe she can have better dental than what I grew up with.”
They know that the little things they do now could have a big impact later.
“If you put her to bed with a bottle it can make a big difference by wiping her mouth or brushing,” Mysti said.
And for the Bowmans, the tips they received could be enough to make just about anybody smile.
To see if you qualify for the program, visit www.tlc4families.org or call 435-673-5353 x148.
[Text and video from KSL.com]