A fundraiser that netted $4,100 last fall in Billings will help educate pupils at Orchard Elementary School  on the benefits of good oral health and hygiene.

Providers from both RiverStone Health Dental Clinic and RiverStone Health's school-based clinic at Orchard Elementary will participate in the educational effort. It all happens at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, February 2.

Orchard Elementary School, 120 Jackson St., is a Title 1 school, meaning a high proportion of students come from low-income families. A recent federal report on children covered by Medicaid indicated that one out of four of the children sampled hadn’t seen a dentist in two years, according to the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office and reported in the Washington Post. Three out of four children hadn’t received all the dental care needed. The reasons cited by the report for the lack of dental care included the number of dentists accepting Medicaid patients and the lack of education about the importance of dental care.

To make the experience a more palatable to the children, Dr. Cameron Thomas, director of the RiverStone Health Dental Clinic, will narrate a skit using a human-sized tooth, toothbrush and other characters to show how brushing and eating healthy foods helps prevent tooth decay. There will be two performances of the skit for kindergartners through fifth grade.

After the brief dental education skit, each pupil at the school will get a dental kit containing a power toothbrush, flossers, timer and toothpaste, all contained in a kid-friendly reusable pencil bag.

Last fall, the RiverStone Health Dental Clinic and RiverStone Health Foundation participated in a Lucky’s Market fundraiser, which raised the money for outreach efforts to children at Orchard Elementary School.

 

In 2014, RiverStone Health Dental Clinic saw 4,600 patients and more than 70 percent of them were uninsured.