PINEHURST – FirstHealth of the Carolinas has been committed to brightening smiles in the Sandhills for more than 20 years.
In February, during National Children’s Dental Health Month, FirstHealth Dental Care encourages parents to think ahead about the care their children will need from the time they cut their first tooth until they start loosening years later.
According to the American Dental Association, more than 40% of children ages two to 11 experience tooth decay, which can destroy baby teeth and have a negative effect on a child’s general health.
“Primary or ‘baby’ teeth are vital to help children speak clearly, chew and hold space for adult teeth,” said Sharon Nicholson Harrell, DDS, MPH, FAGD, director of FirstHealth’s dental care program. “Dental problems often start early, so regular dental visits and proper care should begin when the first tooth appears.”
FirstHealth has provided dental care to more than 28,000 underserved children in Moore, Montgomery and Hoke counties since 1998. Dentists and staff care for children from birth to 21 years who receive Medicaid, Health Choice or are uninsured and qualify by income level. About 70% of the children seen during the program’s first year of operation had either never seen a dentist at all or hadn’t been to the dentist in more than a year.
During a first visit, dentists and staff will also educate parents about how to help children develop good dental habits at an early age. Services provided at FirstHealth Dental Care for children include:
- Silver and white fillings
- Fluoride varnish
FirstHealth Dental Care offices are in Southern Pines and in two school-based facilities in Montgomery County – East Middle School in Biscoe and West Middle School in Mt. Gilead. For more information or to make an appointment, call (910) 692-5111.