Pilot program made available for high school students.
By Mindy Nguyen
The Big Smiles Dental program has always catered services to elementary school. They only provided dental check-ups to elementary schools, but this school year they have expanded their services to Oakland High School.
“This is the first time Big Smiles is working with a high school,” Nurse Rose Qabazard said. “We’re still trying to gather up students to get the program started.”
According to the Big Smiles website, Big Smiles is an independent company that seeks to help “under-served” students who aren’t given the opportunity to receive dental health care services. They provide students with free check-ups, X-rays, cleaning, fluoridation, fillings, and more.
Qabazard hopes to receive their services for Oakland High students in the future as well and predicts that the dentists will visit Oakland High School around March.
The health center has only recruited 45 students to take this opportunity. They hope to have at least 100 students when they initiate the services.
“It sounds pretty dope for people who don’t have dental insurance,” said senior Geoffrey Dang. “It helps because out here in Oakland, there are students who don’t have the money to have their teeth checked.”
There are still many students who are unaware of the program.
“I just heard about the program the other day,” said Rachelle-Ann Esmele, junior. “I’m glad I heard about it sooner because I need it. I don’t think many of my friends know about it.”
Esmele has already filled out her form and is planning to turn it in by the end of the week. She says she’s influencing her friends to do the same.