CFCN donates oral health packs to local schools

Published 9:09 am Wednesday, February 20, 2019

NILES — Monday morning, students and teachers at Brandywine High School made a mad dash before the first bell to distribute free toothbrushes and toothpaste to each student in the school.

As part of National Children’s Dental Health Month, Cassopolis Family Clinic Network, a Federally Qualified Health Center with service centers in Niles and Cassopolis, celebrated the month by increasing awareness of the importance of good oral health in the communities of Cass southeast Berrien Counties.

This week, CFCN donated oral health packs to every student in Niles, Brandywine and Cassopolis schools. Each oral health kit includes an age-appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste, floss and information on CFCN dental services.

CFCN started the National Children’s Dental Health Month Dental Pack Project nine years ago by distributing oral health kits to students of Cassopolis Public Schools.

Expanding the project five years ago to include Brandywine and Niles Community Schools, CFCN is providing free oral health kits to nearly 6,400 students each year.

“This is our way of giving back to the community,” said Rose Willson, marketing and development coordinator with CFCN. “This is our way of spreading the importance of dental health.”

By raising awareness about dental health this month in area schools, Willson said CFCN is aiming to make dental health a priority for children and make the idea of dentistry less intimidating to children. She said this would encourage students to take care of their oral health as they get older.

“Good oral health is the gateway to overall health,” Willson said.

Brandywine school counselor Angie Roeder said that the school district was grateful for the donation of the dental packs for its students.

“Some of our students never see the dentist, so this might be their one new toothbrush for the entire year, sadly,” she said. “It’s nice for them to have their own supplies and that they can see how important it is to brush your teeth. … I think this is great, and we are happy to participate.”

Willson said that CFCN was happy to host the National Children’s Dental Health Month Dental Pack Project again this year, adding that giving back to the community is part of the mission of CFCN.

“It’s the right thing to do,” she said. “We are a community health center, and we are reaching out to show people that you can access affordable health care, no matter what walk of life you are, no matter how old or young you are.”