Feb. 22, 2018 By Staff Report
Area kids have a reason to smile this month, as local hygienist Carmen Garcia of Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry at 45-45 21st St has been taking her profession outside of the dental office and started visiting child care centers throughout Queens .
In honor of February being National Children’s Dental Health month, Garcia has been visiting daycare centers and schools throughout the borough to lead an interactive dental hygiene program for toddlers aged 2 to 4 years.
Garcia, who is fluent in Spanish and English, has almost a decade of experience in the field of pediatric dentistry and was formerly President of the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association at Farmingdale State College.
“As part of my career and our mission at Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry, I want to make oral health care something that is fun and enjoyable for kids, and this program of site visits is helping me do that,” Garcia said.
A typical visit by Garcia lasts between one and two hours and includes proper oral hygiene demonstrations using life-sized plush animals, fun educational games on brushing, flossing and nutrition, and ends with a read-aloud of a popular children’s book, “Sugar Bugs” by Dr. Sam Weisz.
Garcia says that partnering sites have been very welcoming, and that the kids and staff that she has worked with have enjoyed her visits.
“It’s been a very positive experience and one that I’m honored to be a part of,” she added. “It’s very important to me that children develop positive attitudes toward their oral hygiene, and that has to start at an early age.”
The practice owners at Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry praised Garcia’s work and said she is one of the reasons their young patients look forward to seeing the dentists.
“We are so proud of Carmen for what she has done with her outreach efforts. Our patients absolutely adore her and we feel very lucky to have her as part of our team!” said Dr. Natasha Larson, one of the two owners of Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry.
“Carmen is genuinely passionate about her job and it clearly shows with her dedication to programs like this one. We love her enthusiasm for teaching kids in our community how to take care of their teeth and make healthy eating choices,” her partner, Dr. Loren Buonocore, added.
Anyone interested in having Garcia visit their child’s school, daycare or learning
center can call the Chelsea Pediatric Dentistry office in Long Island City at 212-243-5437 or by emailing Carmen directly at [email protected].