CCBC Dundalk to offer free dental hygiene clinics
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 10:56

Services for women, children to be available

by Nicole Rodman

    Pregnancy can be a hectic time, filled with doctors appointments and other obligations.
    While most mothers-to-be are busy heading to the obstetrician’s office, few realize the importance of good dental health during pregnancy.
    This is true in Maryland as well. According to a 2008 survey by the Maryland Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, just 37 percent of women statewide had their teeth checked during pregnancy.
   

However, neglecting oral health during pregnancy can be harmful.
    According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “Pregnant women who have periodontal disease [gingivitis] may be more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small.”
    At the CCBC Dundalk campus,  Dental Hygiene program director Kathleen D’Ambrisi agrees.
    In a press release last Thursday, D’Ambrisi explained, “There is a major link between the pregnant mother’s oral care and their unborn child.”
    She continued, “Poor oral care while pregnant can cause miscarriages or an early birth.”
    In an effort to assist pregnant and post-partum women, and their infants, in getting dental hygiene care, D’Ambrisi and her students at the CCBC Dundalk Dental Hygiene Clinic will hold a series of free clinics.
    Funded by a grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the clinics will provide no-cost dental hygiene services to pregnant women and women who have given birth within the last two years, as well as infants.
    During the free clinics, a number of dental hygiene services will be offered, including oral examinations, teeth cleaning and flouride treatment.
    In addition, medical personnel will be on hand to provide blood pressure screening and nutritional counseling.
    The dental hygiene services will be provided by students of CCBC Dundalk’s Dental Hygiene program. Students will be under the supervision  of a certified dental hygienist.
    The CCBC Dental Hygiene program, available exclusively on the Dundalk campus, began in the fall of 2008.
    Throughout the year, the program hosts dental hygiene clinics, providing no-cost oral health services to residents of the area.       
    The CCBC Dundalk Dental Hygiene Clinic will hold its latest round of free clinics, for pregnant and post-partum women and infants, on Wednesdays, Oct. 17, Nov. 14 and Dec. 5.
    Appointments are available for both morning hours, from 8 to 11:30 a.m., and afternoon hours, from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
    All services are provided at the Dental Arts Building on the CCBC Dundalk campus, 7200 Sollers Point Road.
    For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Patrice Gernhardt at 443-840-3495 or email pgernhardt@
ccbcmd.edu.