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A dental assistant’s work is never done. Greta Henning, a certified dental assistant at the Penticton Health Centre, recently took her act on the road, to provide dental screening for kindergarten students from Naramata Elementary School. Henning gave the kids a short interactive talk about the importance of brushing their teeth twice a day with a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste, eating healthy snacks and visiting the dentist engaged the children before their screening. But Henning had a message for parents as well, not to wait for tooth problems before taking your child to the dentist. “A rotten tooth is a rotten reason for a first dental visit,” said Henning, who also explained there are programs available to assist families in financial need in finding dental help, through the community dental hygienist at the Penticton Health Centre (250-770-3412). Henning, when she is off work, is one of those helping out with those in need. On June 15, she will be operating another bridge dental centre organized under the auspices of the Henning Emergency Clinic of Kindness Society, the 12th since she began in August 2011. Applications for treatment are accepted by the Salvation Army Food Bank (across from Cherry Lane Mall) and the Ookanakane Friendship Centre (146 Ellis St.) when adults or seniors have untreated dental problems that they cannot afford to fix. The last clinic was held in May, when volunteer dentists Drs. Ian Dickinson and Amaal Ayoub treated 19 patients who were suffering from pain or infections in their teeth. The upcoming June 15 clinic takes place in the offices of Dr. Gar Hatton, at 700 Main St. Meanwhile, Henning has hopes this will be the last mobile clinic before the group is able to move into their own place. She has been working hard to open a permanent community clinic in the Penticton area. Financial donations, however, are needed to move this project along, as are contractors who are willing to help with renovations, plumbing and electrical. Henning can be contacted at 250-493-9299.
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