Local dentists, Choffin students lend skills to help children
By Amanda Tonoli
Local dentists and Choffin Career and Technical Center students donated their time and skills to Youngstown City Schools students for Give Kids a Smile Day on Friday.
The annual event is in its 18th year at Choffin.
Paula Oliver, Choffin dental assisting school program director and founder, said the event is dedicated to getting children into a health care setting either for the first time or at a time when they could be in need.
The one-stop shop gives students dental cleanings, extractions, preventive fluoride and additional work, depending on the need. “We work with the Corydon Palmer Dental Society [of Youngstown], and they supply the doctors, and my students are the assistants,” Oliver explained. “We are helping the kids who don’t have access to this type of care. ... We try to stay within Youngstown City Schools to meet the needs.”
Dentist Sergio Nadler of Modern Dental Concepts said Give Kids a Smile Day is a way to be in touch with the community.
“We want to have healthy mouths and promote something we know how to do, as well as give back,” he said.
Olivia Wireman, Choffin dental assisting student, enjoys her time with the children.
“We get to teach them about oral hygiene so that now they can learn how to keep a good mouth,” she said. “They can carry that skill on with them for when they get older. I think it’s great to actually help someone understand and carry that out in their life to keep them healthy.”
Sheffali Nadler, another dentist of Modern Dental Concepts, also believes Give Kids a Smile Day is a positive experience.
“It’s wonderful to know we are able to give a little time to help kids not be afraid and realize how important dental care is to their overall health,” she said.
Parent Arnold Shifflet said the event helps going to the dentist seem less like a chore.
“It’s cool,” he said. “It makes it funner and more interesting.”
Shifflet’s stepson, Brandon Hogan, 13, had his teeth cleaned and liked the way he felt afterward.
But his favorite aspect wasn’t the cleaning.
“I liked that I didn’t have to go to school,” he said jokingly.