Dr. Cervantes and Her Staff in the Community
Smiles for Kids and for our Sheldon Grove Family Dental
The photos you see here show some of the happiest smiles we see in our dental practice. These are a few of our staff members, a couple of dentists from other offices and some of the children we treat for free every February on Smiles For Kids Day.
Smiles For Kids is a foundation of the Sacramento District Dental Society that works with schools to screen for children who need dental treatment. These are kids whose families do not have dental insurance or cannot afford dental care yet earn too much money to qualify for public dental programs.
One Saturday a year, we open our office to give these children, and sometimes their families, the dental care they need. Often, dentists from other practices join us in our office. Last year, more than 500 kids received free dental care on Smiles For Kids Day.
Our office offers a special advantage for some of these children: We speak Spanish so we can serve the Spanish-speaking community. We can also use nitrous oxide to calm the children, if necessary. Many of them need to be sedated because they have never been to a dentist before and are scared or very fidgety.
While they’re here, we give these children all the services they need: fillings,
cleanings, extractions, crowns, root canals, mouth reconstruction whatever
they require. If they need more than one visit, we continue to see them for
free follow-up work.
We also “adopt” two or three of these children each year and provide them with continuing free dental services.
Giving free dental care to these kids is one of the most gratifying things we do at Sheldon Grove Family Dental. The smiles on their faces are the best reward!
Educating Families About Dental Health
While the families are here, we also teach them about the importance of good dental care. A healthy mouth is necessary to overall well-being. Many people don’t realize that as many as 90 percent of cavities can be prevented by proper dental hygiene.
It’s never too early to start taking care of your child’s teeth. Here is some advice we give our parents:
- Begin cleaning babies’ gums even before they have teeth by wiping them gently with a very soft toothbrush or washcloth.
- As soon as baby teeth erupt, brush them with a soft brush and water.
- Floss babies’ teeth as soon as there are two teeth side by side.
- Do not let children sleep with a bottle that contains anything but water.
- Don’t allow babies to use pacifiers beyond the age of 2 or 3. Continued use of a pacifier can affect a child’s tooth alignment, or “bite.”