Dental Screenings Start Healthy Habits

posted 5/7/18 -- Do you remember your first visit to the dentist?

It probably set a tone for how you cared for your teeth for the rest of your life.

LCCAA Head Start’s annual visit from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine helps make sure children in Lorain County get an early start on keeping their teeth and mouths healthy.

“I like the dentist because they clean my teeth and they count my teeth,” said 4-year-old Sophia, a student at LCCAA Head Start Elyria.

After introducing herself, Dr. Katie Kochenour cleaned Sophia’s teeth, examined them and applied fluoride to protect them.

“The sooner children being getting regular dental checkups, the healthier their mouths will stay throughout their lives,” the Center for Pediatric Dentistry says.

“Early checkups help prevent cavities and tooth decay, which can lead to pain, trouble concentrating and other medical issues. Youngsters with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly and smile with confidence.”

Case Western’s Early Childhood Pediatric Dental Outreach Program has been providing screenings for more than 10 years, said Coordinator Cheriese Quigley.

Their goal is to fight against early childhood cavities, the number one chronic infectious disease in children in America. They suggest:


  • A child should have a dental checkup by age one 
  • Teeth can last a lifetime. Have your children clean their teeth every day at home, visit your dentist regularly and avoid frequent sugary snacks 
  • Your child should have a complete checkup once a year by a dentist to help stop cavities early and avoid pain and infection
  • Adults and children should use dental floss daily to help prevent gum disease which is one of the main reasons adults lose teeth


When Sophia was finished, she was rewarded for being an excellent patient by getting a goody bag full of tools (tooth brushes, floss, etc.) to help her keep her smile perfect.

If you would like to learn more about this program and its benefits, you can visit their website at