Church, dental students promote oral hygiene as part of MLK Day of Service

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Volunteers are putting together 1,000 dental hygiene kits to give away to needy families, as part of a Martin Luther King day of service.

An urban core church is joining forces with the University of Missouri-Kansas City dental school to promote healthy habits.

About a hundred volunteers from St. James United Methodist Church, and UMKC students, faculty and staff believe they can make a difference in helping folks take better care of their teeth.

They have created care kits of toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, even information about how to receive low-cost check ups and cleanings.

Supplies have been donated by Procter and Gamble, Colgate and pharmaceutical company Glaxo Smith Kline.

Giving to help make the community a better place is a core mission for the dental school, and one students say they will take with them the rest of their lives.

"There’s a lot of need out there, obviously, and I think that it’s kind of near and dear to our hearts to be able to help the communities take care of their oral health," said Chanelle Roberts, a third-year dental student. "Because honestly if you've ever had a tooth ache, that's one of the pains that people can’t just live with."

Some of the kits are being given to families who are staying at the Ronald McDonald house. The rest will be distributed to non profit agencies throughout the city.

Dentists and dental hygienists know first hand that taking care of your body begins with taking care of your teeth.

Church members say this is a good way to honor Dr. King's legacy, by establishing and maintaining community connections that benefit everyone.

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