OHI to Participate in Give Kids a Smile Dental Program

Ocean Health Initiatives, Inc. (OHI), will be sponsoring their annual Give Kids A Smile® event Friday, Feb. 2 at the Lakewood and Toms River Health Centers to provide free oral health services to children age 12 and under who are underserved in the community.

Nearly one in four children under the age of five already has cavities, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many children enrolled in Medicaid receive no dental services throughout the year.

Give Kids a Smile is an annual program that provides free, easily accessible dental services to qualifying individuals. The event helps to raise awareness of the epidemic of untreated dental disease occurring locally and nationally and create local public and private partnerships to increase access to oral health care to solve this crisis.

OHI has been hosting Give Kids A Smile events in the community as a way to provide free dental care to local children who desperately need it. This year’s event will be held Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lakewood Health Center, 101 Second St, Lakewood; and the Toms River Health Center, 301 Lakehurst Road, Toms River.

Throughout the year, OHI offers dental cleanings and full checkups, including X-rays and other screening procedures for children and adults. Dentists are available at the Lakewood, Toms River and Little Egg Harbor sites daily Monday through Friday, beginning at 8 a.m. Additional OHI Dental services include general exams, oral health care instruction, fluoride treatments and free dental hygiene materials, such as toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste.

“FQHCs such as OHI, joining with the American Dental Association in their nationwide Action for Dental Health campaign, is a fantastic opportunity to help bring advocacy and action to the importance of dental care in the community.” said Dr. Patricia Gibbons, Dental Director at OHI. “Providing dental services at a young age is extremely important in a child’s dental health development.”

The services are free to children if they do not have insurance. If the family has insurance, the insurance company will be billed. Parents must call for an appointment. To schedule in either English or Spanish call 732-363-6655. For questions, contact Monika Kwiatkowska, dental manager, at 732-363-6655 or mkwiatkowska@ohinj.org.

For more information about Give Kids A Smile events, visit adafoundation.org/givekidsasmile. To learn more about OHI, visit www.ohinj.org.