Gulfport Students Show Off Pearly Whites

A dentist peered inside a young boy's mouth and said "Let me take a look at you. Let's see".

One by one, youngsters at Bayou View Elementary showed off their pearly whites. Dr. Clay Hilton was one of 13 dentists who volunteered to bring dental hygiene into the classrooms.

Marcie Ormes with the Junior Auxiliary of Gulfport said "We did a school this morning at West Wortham. There were some children there who had never seen a dentist".

The Junior Auxiliary of Gulfport sponsors the "SMILE" program every year, targeting second graders.

Ormes said "That's when a lot of the children are losing their baby teeth, and we want them to take care of their permanent teeth".

Katy Davis felt the jitters while waited for her turn. Katy said "One time, when I was at the dentist, and I had a black tooth, they had to yank it out and it hurts".

But after a quick check-up, Katy's nerves faded away.

Katy said "He told me to brush my teeth when I get home, and to make sure I brush after every meal".

When asked if she is scared of the dentist now, Katy shook her head.

After his exam, one boy said "I have 2 cavities, and I need to brush more".

Another girl said "I almost got 2 cavities on this tooth, so I gotta brush them".

All in all, it was not a bad experience. After the oral exams, the children left with a goody bag and a friendly reminder from Dr. Hilton.

He said "Keep brushing those teeth twice a day".

The dentists visited a total of 17 elementary schools in Gulfport, Long Beach and Harrison County Friday. The Junior Auxiliary of Gulfport will sponsor another dental screening next Friday.

By: Trang Pham-Bui