Local dentist offers free dental screenings for McNair Junior High students

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - With a reminder to brush and floss, many McNair Junior High school students sat down in a dental chair for the first time in their lives.

Monday, 150 students received free dental screenings as part of a partnership between Huntsville City Schools, Premiere Dental, and McCants Consulting.

"Some of the kids [came in] saying they don`t floss, they don`t brush. I even had a student say `I`m in a lot of pain but I haven`t been to the dentist. My mom hasn`t taken me to the dentist,`" said Dr. Taneshia Daniels, owner of Premiere Dental.

Organizers say the free screenings are as much about the physical health of the students as it is about their education and academic success.

Often tooth aches and other dental problems can lead to absences and faltering grades.

"Kids need to come to school and be focused on school work, taking exams, learning rather than dealing with a tooth ache for the remainder of the day," said Daniels.

If a problem is found during the screenings, Daniels will notify the parents that their child needs a cleaning or more intensive dental care.

Area churches will also be offering free transportation to take the students to their dental appointments if their parents are not able to do so.