Dental Health

Getting Forward: Dental Days 2024

Dental Days 2024 will be held on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1. Free dental care for children age 3 to 21 who live in the Nebraska Panhandle will be available in Gordon and Sidney. Dental Days are organized every year by Panhandle Public Health District (PPHD).

Students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene will be participating in the annual event. They work under the supervision of UNMC Dental College faculty and area dentists.

Families must schedule an appointment – Contact PPHD’s Janelle Visser at 308-760-6493 or Gordon’s Ashlei Tausan at 605-786-6147. At this time, the available dental appointment slots in Sidney have all been filled. There are still some times available in Gordon.

Children who have appointments at Life Smiles in Sidney should have scheduled a prescreening appointment with an area dental office. For the Gordon site, Gordon Memorial Hospital, all screenings will be done at their appointment time on May 31 or June 1.

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Transportation is available at no cost. Contact Open Plains Transit by calling 308-761-8747 before May 17 if you need a ride.

PPHD recognizes that very few dentists accept Medicaid. The Community Action Partnership Dental Clinics in Chadron and Gering are always busy. In fact, Chadron doesn’t have available appointments for a year! Dental Days gives families the opportunity to receive this much needed health care for their children.

Why this focus on dental care for children? Oral problems such as cavities can impact a child’s ability to learn and a child’s overall health, both now and in the future.

Children in low-income families who don’t have access to dental care miss three times as many school days due to oral health problems. These children often have decreased appetite, depression, and are unable to focus attention – all of which can lead to a risk of lower school attendance and learning.

Regular preventive dental care can lessen the health risks these children will face as adults, including heart disease, diabetes, and pregnancy complications. Good dental care can help improve self-esteem because healthy teeth and gums are important to our feelings about ourselves.

Preventive dental health care for children is vital. If you have children who may qualify, please call PPHD, 308-487-3600, or visit the website, for more information. Contact Janelle Visser at 308-760-6493 or Ashlei Tausan at 605-786-6147 and get your appointment scheduled.

Don’t miss this opportunity for children ages 3 to 21 to receive dental care at no cost, even though their family has very little or no dental insurance

We’re always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what’s going on!

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