February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and Bend-based Kemple Clinic is celebrating with a month-long “tooth tool” drive to benefit local children and youth whose oral health is at risk.
Kemple Clinic is Central Oregon’s only nonprofit organization that provides free, high quality, on-site and offsite dental screenings and preventative education to promote the oral health and overall well-being of children in the community. Suzanne Browning, Kemple’s Executive Director, explains the importance of the month-long toothbrush drive. “1 out of 5 children between the ages of 5 and 11 and 1 out of 7 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 have at least one decayed tooth that’s not treated. Of course, the “easy” solution would be to brush twice a day, but many kids in our community can’t do that because they don’t even own a toothbrush. Our goal through this drive is to put tooth tools in their hands and healthy smiles on their faces.”
Kemple Clinic hopes to collect 1,000 youth toothbrushes, 400 spools of dental floss and 100 travel size tubes of toothpaste in February, all of which will be bundled into individual oral care kits and given free of charge to children in schools, in Kemple’s on-site clinic and at numerous community outreach events taking place across the region this year. Toothbrush, floss and toothpaste donations can be dropped off at the following Kemple partner locations:
Westside Pharmacy [Century Drive in Bend]
Rose’s Pharmacy [NE Medical Center Drive in Bend]
COCC [Health Careers Building 2nd Floor, Allied Health Office]
Says Browning, “We are so grateful for these organizations and their support. Last year alone we distributed more than 8,000 care kits and a successful tooth tools drive this month will allow us to do even more in the coming year.” Monetary donations to the tooth tool drive can also be made by visiting www.kempleclinic.org and clicking on “Make a Donation”. For more information about Kemple’s services and the Give Kids a Smile initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (541) 617-1653.
About Kemple Clinic
Kemple Clinic was founded in 1998 by retired dentist and long-time Bend resident, Dr. H.M. Kemple. Dr. Kemple’s mission was to eliminate pediatric oral disease. To this day, Kemple Clinic strives to support that mission by providing free, high quality, on-site and offsite dental screenings and preventative education needed to promote the oral health and overall well-being of children in our community. Kemple also offers on-site hygiene appointments (cleanings, x-rays, risk assessments) at the clinic facility for underserved children in Central Oregon. If, upon assessment, acute dental treatments are necessary, Kemple Clinic works with more than 70 volunteer dentists in Central Oregon to deliver these urgent and critical dental treatment services to qualified children in Central Oregon.