SMRYNA, Ga.—Students at Norton Park Elementary School in Cobb County will have a chance for healthier smiles, thanks to a new outreach partnership with the Georgia State University Perimeter College Dental Hygiene program and Gas South.
Through the partnership, Perimeter College faculty and students will provide oral health education and care to the Title I elementary school. Norton Park students also will come to Perimeter’s Dunwoody Campus dental clinic for follow-up care.
“Gas South partners with Norton Park Elementary School and now is supporting the oral health program at Norton Park with financial sponsorship,” said Pam Cushenan, Perimeter dental hygiene assistant professor.
In September, faculty and students conducted a workshop at the school to educate parents about oral health and preventive sealants and fluoride.
“Perimeter dental hygiene students demonstrated what to expect and shared written information to help parents make a well-informed decision about the welfare of their children’s oral health,” Cushenan said.
As a follow-up, the children of parents who provided consent forms are receiving an oral screening by dental hygiene students and faculty.
Other events planned for Norton Park include a Sealant Day in November, when more than 35 students will receive dental sealants at the Dunwoody Campus dental health clinic, and an educational Oral Health Day in February to reach all students at the school.
“While on our campus, children will receive fun-filled oral health education, as well as receive much-needed sealants and fluoride. They even get to meet the Tooth Fairy,” Cushenan said.
Children with cavities will be referred to dental offices for care, she said.
In February, all dental hygiene students will go to Norton Park Elementary School, where they will be working in teams to provide a series of interactive education sessions to 900 children. In a separate area, preventive services (sealants and fluoride) will be provided by a team of clinicians, including senior dental hygiene students; Dr. Adam Barefoot, director of oral health for the Georgia Department of Public Health; Cobb County Public Health dentist Dr. Arlita Jackson and volunteer licensed dental hygienists,” Cushenan said.
“Our collaborative goal is to serve as many children as possible to improve their health, while connecting them to dental homes in Cobb County,” said Cushenan.
Photo: The Norton Park Elementary partnership will include oral health education for students, similar to the Perimeter College Dental Hygiene presentation shown here at Hightower Elementary in Dunwoody.