February 17, 2023

Shawnee State University Dental Hygiene students recently participated in Give Kids A Smile, an annual event providing dental care to school-aged children. The event, sponsored by the local dental society, allows students to help children in the region receive dental care like screenings and fluoride applications.

group photo from Give Kids A Smile event
Shawnee State University Dental Hygiene students volunteer with local dentists to present Give Kids A Smile, impacting children in the region and their dental care.

“Give Kids A Smile helps fulfill one of our goals set for Dental Hygiene education” said Nancy Bentley, SSU Program Director of Dental Hygiene. “That goal is that the graduate will participate in dental hygiene continuing education, community service, and promote optimal health by utilizing appropriate educational methods, strategies, and communication skills.”

Participating every year in the event, students and faculty in the SSU Dental Hygiene program enjoy gaining real-world experience but also building relationships with a future generation. Together, the students and the local dentist at the event saw sixty children in a single day and were able to give each one personalized care and attention in their dental needs.

“This is a community-based program,” said Bentley. “The Dental Hygiene students get more experience working with young children, many who have very limited experience at a dental office. They also get to know and work with local dentists.”

Completed in just five academic semesters that combine classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience, SSU’s Dental Hygiene program educates and prepares dental health care professionals for private dental practices and clinics. Graduates are prepared to provide a variety of oral care services and treatments as well as dental health education, home care instruction and diet and nutritional counseling.

To learn more about the Dental Hygiene program at Shawnee State University, visit