Mark Helpin, Kornberg School of Dentistry and Temple University saving young teeth

As filed last week for today’s edition of the Philadelphia Business Journal.

You just have to protect those teeth.

Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry, in conjunction with Henry Schein Inc., a Melville, N.Y.-based distributor of medical, dental and veterinary supplies based, did just that last week.

“Poor dental care is the most prevalent disease in childhood,” Mark Helpin, acting chairman of Temple’s department pediatric dentistry, said. “We’re not just trying to teach people to treat their mouths, we’re relating the health of the mouth to the overall health and well being of a child.”

As part of the annual Give Kids a Smile day, more than 80 children, many from the Kenderton Elementary School at 15th and Ontario St., received free dental care from nearly thirty dental students, faculty and staff. Schein did its part by giving $40,000 in dental supplies to Temple and the University of Pennsylvania’s dental school, part of the $2.1 million sent nationwide in order to treat an estimated 1 million children in the country.

At Temple, children were given oral hygiene instruction, a cleaning, fluoride application and more if necessary. Schien sent disposable mirrors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, bibs, cups and other materials necessary for the event, Helpin said.

“This shows that corporate America can be involved in worthwhile and people orientated pursuits and projects that have meaning in the most personal way and the most human level,” he said. “Temple University itself has an unusual and extraordinary commitment to Philadelphia. The dental school is staying true to that.”

Temple is hosting a smaller, similar, citywide event on March 20.

“We’re part of the community and have a responsibility to serve the community. We’re concerned about children, not just one day, but after. ” Helpin said. “We want people to know they can have a dental home for their children at Temple.”

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