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This version of NSU News has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of NSU News, visit news.nova.edu.

This version of SharkBytes has been archived as of February 28, 2019. To search through archived articles, visit nova.edu/search. To access the new version of SharkBytes, visit sharkbytes.nova.edu.

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Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

nova.edu/prmc

SharkBytes Archives

Contact

Division of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796

(954) 262-5353
(800) 541-6682 x25353
Fax: (954) 262-3954
communications@nova.edu

Pride Bite: NSU’s College of Dental Medicine Receives $300,000 Grant From Children’s Trust

the_childrens_trust_logo_color-rgb_2Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Students miss more than 51 million hours of school annually in the United States due to dental-related illness, according to Oral Health in America: Report of the U.S. Surgeon General. A majority of these absences could have been avoided if these children had access to preventive dental services.

To help solve this major problem, The Children’s Trust in Miami-Dade County has awarded a $300,000 grant to Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Dental Medicine. The funds are being used to train 200 medical staff associated with The Children’s Trust’s HealthConnect program to perform oral health screenings for children in Miami-Dade schools, particularly for dental cavities; provide oral health counseling and a fluoride varnish application; refer children in need of treatment to a dentist; and monitor the program.

“It is well known that oral diseases have a direct and devastating effect on the health of children and have a serious impact on children’s readiness for school and ability to succeed,” said Ana Karina Mascarenhas, B.D.S., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., associate dean of research of NSU’s College of Dental Medicine. “NSU is grateful to The Children’s Trust for recognizing this issue is preventable in many cases and supporting efforts to enhance the oral health of children in Miami-Dade County.”

Among low income children, nearly 50 percent of cavities remain untreated, which can lead to problems eating, speaking and sleeping. Poor oral health among children has been tied to lower performance in school and poor social relationships. Children with early childhood dental pain often weigh less than other children.

“Oral disease, led by dental caries, is the most prevalent illness children suffer,” said Peter A. Gorski, M.D., M.P.A., chief community health, child development and innovation officer at The Children’s Trust in Miami-Dade County. “The resultant pain and disability affect children’s health, growth, well-being, relationships and academic performance. Moreover, since nearly all children attend school, school-based oral health services and education enable us to reach and support the maximum number of children at a time in life when lifelong problems can be prevented. We are all most grateful for this vital partnership with the faculty and staff of Nova Southeastern University.”

Health Connect is a comprehensive, three-tier, quality-driven health initiative, spearheaded and funded by The Children’s Trust, with the goal of having the healthiest children possible in Miami-Dade County. The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.

In addition to this grant, NSU’s College of Dental Medicine provides children from select Miami-Dade County schools with oral health services either at the school or at NSU’s North Miami Beach Dental Clinic located at 1750 NE 167 Street.