Updated 07/09/2011 05:49 PM
Mobile Office Offers Dental Care
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You can call it a dental clinic on wheels. It's parked in Batavia for the summer. The Smile Mobile offers dental care to children and teens in need.
Seven-year-old Mikayla understands the importance of taking good care of her teeth.
"I brush my teeth one time, I brushed them 23 times," said Mikayla, patient.
Mikayla says she was excited about her visit to the Smile Mobile.
"It's so important to have good teeth, so they'll be strong and you don't want them to fall out," she said.
Like Mikayla, dentists at Eastman Dental are offering their services to other children and teens. At a reduced price, families from all over western New York can come for routine dental care.
"We are fully equipped to do fillings, to do cleanings, anything, like even simple extractions," said Dr. Sangeeta Gajendra, Eastman Dental.
The Smile Mobile will be on West Main Street in Batavia for the next several months. Parents with Medicaid or health insurance can make an appointment for their child or teen.
Lyndsay Bombard says taking her son, Joshua, to the dentist is quite expensive. She is thankful this program is able to offer her a reasonable price.
"I have insurance, so I don't have a copay here. But if I went to certain places out here, we would have a copay and I can't afford it. So, I'm glad," said Bombard.
According to the Dental Health Association, tooth decay is the most common disease among children. They also say that 54 percent of children in New York do not take proper care of their mouth.
"Prevention is the key for maintaining good teeth," said Dr. Gajendra.
Professionals recommend children start seeing the dentist as early as 12 months.
"Start leaning early, so they can keep their teeth for the rest of their lives and they realize how important it is for aesthetics, talking, everything," said Melissa Storath, dental assistant.
With early prevention, children realize that going to the dentist isn't quite as scary as it seems to be.
"When they come out of here, ecstatic about how happy they look or feel about their teeth, it just feels good," said Storath.
"It's fun here and you get to get prizes," said Mikayla.
Genesee County Health Department