Local health organization brightens smiles to mark National Dental Month

GENESEE COUNTY — Mentioning the dentist to children usually brings up a variety of reactions — some recoil in horror at the mere thought of drills and cleanings, while others are eager for their next set of sparkly stickers and free brushing kit (minus the flavored tooth polish).

But on Feb. 18 the staff at Hamilton Community Health Network (HCHN) will ensure all of their patients come away with a positive experience and a healthier mouth. How? By delivering quality dental services such as screenings and cleanings to the children of low-income families.

In honor of “National Children’s Dental Health Month”, HCHN will do its part in teaching children how to develop sound oral care habits with fun, interactive activities and dental services. The young patients who walk through Hamilton’s doors will receive an education that includes prizes and a visit with the Tooth Fairy.

According to Jill Coulter, one of the office’s main dental hygienists, “Most of the kids (who come) are established patients, but new kids are apprehensive — but they warm up to us quickly.”

HCHN is a federally-funded community network first established in 1982 by St. Joseph’s Hospital (though under a different name). Its goal was to provide quality medical care for lowincome, underserved, and minority families in Flint.

Now, with a new name and several new locations in Genesee County, HCHN boasts an experienced team of staff members as well as a solid commitment to excellence. Their services range from primary care to general dentistry.

Coulter said the state of Michigan alone will see approximately 15,000 children from ages one to 18.

“They’re my favorite patients,” she adds.

The facility requests that parents and/or guardians be present for services.

HCHN has offices in Genesee County at: 400 N. Saginaw St., Ste. 300, Flint; 4001 N. Saginaw St, Flint; 2200 N. Dort Hwy., Flint; G-5399 N. Saginaw St., Flint; and 5710 Clio Rd., Flint.

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