Volunteers help Cass Community Health Foundation improve Harrisonville youth oral health

HARRISONVILLE, Mo., (Oct. 11, 2016) – Cass Community Health Foundation (CCHF) recently partnered with several volunteers from the Cass County area to coordinate school-based dental screenings at the Harrisonville School District health fairs in September.

Kindergarteners, students enrolled in first, third, fifth and seventh grades and high school freshman and juniors participated in the free screenings.  A total of 1,056 students were screened by CCHF volunteers in just three days.  Fluoride varnish applications were offered to all students in kindergarten, first and third grades, of which 200 took advantage of the free preventive service.  18 percent of students screened had untreated tooth decay, a decrease from the 22 percent of students screened in Harrisonville last fall.

CCHF’s volunteers also distributed complimentary dental homecare supplies.

“I was born and raised in Harrisonville and it's been so exciting to share my interests in dental health with my community,” said Brianna Obermiller, volunteer and pre-dental student at University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC). “Cass Community Health Foundation is so important because if children do not develop good oral hygiene habits in their youth, it affects them for the rest of their lives. I've really enjoyed getting to know the children in my community better and I've enjoyed being a part of their learning habits that will have a long lasting effect on their health. ”

"It was great to serve with other community leaders to assure all children are screened and no one gets left behind," Dr. Jo Hansen, local dentist and orthodontist, said.

Local dentists who volunteered their time at the screenings included Hal Berger, DDS, CCHF board member and retired dentist, Jo Hansen, DDS, MS  of Hansen Orthodontics, Francis Matthews, DDS and Shera Sims, DDS, MS  of A World of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.

Volunteer dental hygienists included Ann Hoffman, RDH, Ann Vering, RDH, Juliet Smith, RDH, Mary Jackson, RDH and Sierra Dickson, RDH

Community volunteers included Cass Career Center practical nursing students, Cass County Health Department staff, Hope Haven of Cass County staff, CCHF board members Vanessa Hargrave, Meryl Lange and Kevin Wood, UMKC pre-dental students Tiara Fry, Annie Haman and Brianna Obermiller and community members Erin Bossert, Michelle Dreyer, Donna Schmidt and Bill Woods.

A second fluoride varnish application and additional oral health education will be implemented at the early childhood center and elementary schools in the spring.

CCHF volunteers will provide dental screenings, fluoride varnish treatments and oral health education at East Lynne Elementary, Strasburg Elementary, Midway Elementary, Midway High School , Drexel Elementary  and Drexel High School this fall. The service will also be provided to children enrolled in the Belton, Harrisonville and Adrian Head Start Programs.

Call 816-276-4218 to learn more about dental screening program.