OKOLONA, Miss. (WTVA) - Open wide!
Young people ages three to eight received free dental screenings Tuesday at Okolona Elementary School.
Several groups sponsored the annual Oral Health Improvement Program that provides a dental checkup.
Gennette Robinson with the Mississippi Department of Health said, "We do look for bleeding gums or any kind of sign that oral health may be compromised with the child."
Oral health is important for the child's overall well being.
But this exam serves another purpose as well, according to one of the event sponsors.
Mary L. Gates with the National Council of Negro Women said, "It's important to me because I can't imagine a child trying to learn with a toothache."
Learning in class and learning about the proper way to keep their mouths healthy is emphasized through board games and other demonstrations.
One student said, "Brush every night and every morning."
Around 200 children received free dental screenings.
If there is a problem and parents can't afford a trip to the dentist, there's a solution.
Dorothy Buchanan with the Okolona School District said, "We have a free clinic here through Baby Steps called Catch Kids. The parent can take the child to Catch Kids on Thursday at 5:30 p-m at the Excel building."
It's groups coming together, she says, to make a difference in the overall well-being of young people here that will lead to even better students.