Little Lights Dentistry at Light of the World Charities, provides free dental care to uninsured children living in poverty.
As poverty and related stressors increase, health worsens and dental health is no longer a priority for many families. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, dental decay is the #1 cause of preventable disease in children. Untreated decay is painful; it keeps children from school and impacts their ability to learn. It often diminishes the aesthetics of a child’s smile, having an adverse effect on their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.
The 2018 Children’s Dental Health Project reports children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school due to dental pain.
Untreated decay is higher for children from low income families where they are less likely to receive preventative dental care.
The Little Lights Dentistry Team provides preventative, routine and acute dentistry for children ages 1-18; at no cost to the family including the establishment of a dental home, cleanings, fillings, extractions and root canals. Patient education focuses on oral home care routines and nutritional guidance that will benefit the entire family. After each appointment, children are sent home with a Goodie Bag, containing their own toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash.
Little Lights is unique in that it is the only dental practice in Martin County where care is provided at no cost to uninsured children living in poverty; and as of January 2019, the practice is equipped to provide conscious sedation using nitrous oxide. This gives presiding dentist, Dr. Macdalie St-Preux, the ability to provide onsite care for patients that in the past were referred to private dentists who use IV sedation. Although some acute cases must still be referred out, most children can be treated in house, saving money and providing prompt care.