With cavities the number one health problem of children, and one that is preventable, Traverse Health Clinic is doing its part to improve the oral health of children in its northwest Michigan community, one toothbrush at a time. The Michigan Health Center held a toothbrush collection drive during the month of September in collaboration with community partners.
Donation boxes were located at all Tom’s Food Markets in the area, local Northwestern Banks, Traverse Dental Associates, and Traverse Health Clinic.
“The community was incredibly generous!” said Sherri Fenton, Development and Marketing Director, Traverse Health Clinic. “So far we’re at 10,000 toothbrushes, as well as paste and floss, and all of the boxes aren’t counted yet.”
Traverse Health Clinic is stocking its exam rooms with the donated supplies. The dental hygienist, who sees patients two days a week, will give toothbrushes, paste, and floss to patients and their families to help encourage healthy preventive oral health habits. The Health Center also provides outreach programs serving the homeless community, and will share a portion of the items with the local Goodwill Inn and Safe Harbor programs to pass along to folks experiencing homelessness.
The donation drive received a tremendous amount of publicity from local television and radio partners, which played a key role in its success.
“This was truly a wonderful community response to dental health needs,” said Fenton.