UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 18, 2024

DSU Dental Hygiene Clinic Provides A Little “TLC” For Families In Need

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St. George, UT – Dixie State University will be hosting their quarterly Dental Hygiene Day for pre-registered clients of The Learning Center for Families (TLC) on Friday, Feb. 27 from 1-4 p.m. at the Dr. Mervyn and Sue Cox Dental Hygiene Clinic located at 1526 East Medical Center Drive in St. George. Dr. Tyler Torres, DDS from Dixie Pediatric Dental will be volunteering his time to help provide basic prophylactic care and dental education at no cost to children and their family members.
Since 2002, the DSU Dental Hygiene Program has collaborated with nursing staff at TLC to identify families in the community who are in need of the free dental services and education. Clinics are conducted twice every semester by students in the Dental Hygiene Program and local dentists who volunteer their time and services. Each participating family member will attend four hygiene clinics during the program year. Participants receive oral health screenings, prophylactic treatments, sealants and/or fluoride washes as indicated. Patients receive a new toothbrush as well as toothpaste and floss at each visit.
“The focus of the clinics is on developing life-long dental habits that will ensure the family takes good care of their teeth and gums,” said Tena Heward, RN, Health Services Coordinator for TLC. “Regular preventive care can help detect dental problems early which can save thousands in long term costs. Many of the children’s parents we visit have never seen a dentist. We want to break the cycle for their children; we want them to understand that seeing a dentist and preventive care is the key for life long oral health.”
DSU’s Dental Hygiene program was developed in the fall of 1998 and is accredited by the American Dental Association. Dr. Tyler Torres, DDS and his partner Dr. Brett K. Christensen, DMD from Dixie Pediatric Dental have been volunteering on the TLC for Families Health Services Advisory Committee and on TLC hygiene clinic days at Dixie State University for several years now. “We’re so grateful for Dixie Pediatric Dental and for all of the dentists in our community who help with this program throughout the year including Dr. David Morris, DDS with the Dental Center of St. George and Dr. Matthew R. Valantine, DDS with Valantine Family Dentistry” said Heward.

About The Learning Center for Families (TLC)
Since 1993, The Learning Center for Families, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has been dedicated to its mission of promoting the success of children one family at a time. TLC has family centers located in St. George, Hurricane, Hildale, Beaver Dam and Colorado City and provide home visiting services throughout Washington County and the Arizona Strip to over 500 pregnant women and families with children each week. TLC has a staff of over 60 employees including special education consultants, occupational and physical therapists, nurses, speech therapists, registered dieticians, licensed clinical social workers and Kindermusik instructors. Programs offered include:
• Early Head Start serving low-income pregnant women and families with children ages birth to three by providing comprehensive services that promote the physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth of infants and toddlers while assisting parents in achieving greater self-sufficiency.
• Early Intervention serving families with children ages birth to three showing any kind of developmental delay or who have conditions such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or autism
• Parents as Teachers program focusing on pregnant women of any income who need extra parenting support, due to stressors in their lives, until their child reaches five years of age
• Kindermusik classes provided weekly at our St. George location for children ages 6 weeks to 8 years old.
For more information on The Learning Center for Families or how to get involved, please contact Janie Belliston at (435) 673-5353 ext. 139 or by email at [email protected].