Schoolchildren in the Whittier area are doing better in school this year thanks to Assistance League’s Dental Care program. Started in 1981, the program provides emergency dental care to children who are uninsured and can’t afford dental care. Dental treatment is provided by Whittier Area dentists who are members of the California Dental Association and desire to help Assistance League with this program. Children are screened and referred to Assistance League by the schools. Committee members meet with the parents, process some paperwork and schedule appointments. Members also meet with the child and parents in the office of the participating dentist. Ten local dentists provided dental care services to 35 patients for a total of 86 office visits in 2016-2017. Our dentists have dealt with cavities, extractions, pulpectomies, and even root canals.
Started in 1987, Assistance League members also perform in the educational puppet show called “To Tell the Tooth.” It is given to all second graders in the local school districts. Using animal puppets, they learn about good dental hygiene and preventative care. Local dentist Dr. John Sudick provides the children with a new toothbrush and the Assistance League furnishes toothpaste and dental floss. The dental committee assembled 1,600 packets. This has been a very successful program for local children. The show was presented to 24 schools in 4 school districts, encompassing approximately 2100 students during the school year.