LUMBERTON — Robeson County children who are delinquent in having their teeth checked are invited to have them examined today at no charge.
A Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures mobile dental van will be at Walmart on West Fifth Street to offer free screenings for children ages 3 to 12, said Stephaine N. Locklear, School Health Services supervisor. It will be parked at the retail store from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The van can screen two children at a time, with each screening lasting about two minutes. Each child will receive a free tube of toothpaste, a free toothbrush, brushing instructions and dental health learning material.
Children in need of treatment or who do not have a dentist will be provided referrals so they can visit a dentist in their area and take care of any issues and maintain a healthy mouth.
The van on Friday provided free dental screenings for more than 500 students at Rowland Norment Elementary School, an event sponsored by the Links Incorporated, which is a national organization of professional women. The organization brought the screening to Robeson County for younger children to help eradicate cavities and to create healthy oral care.
The Rowland Norment students also received healthy snacks and a goody bag from the Colgate Van.
Health officials say the need is significant locally because of the large number of children in poor families who do not routinely get dental care. Oral health is a prime indicator of overhaul health. People who have poor dental hygiene often have compromised immune systems, making them vulnerable to infections and disease.