Wilton dentist offering free cleanings, screenings to area families

Dr. Mariya Malin, of Wilton Smiles, spends some of her free time brainstorming ways to help nonprofits that benefit children. This month, Malin is using her own profession as a waay to lend a helping hand.

Dr. Mariya Malin, of Wilton Smiles, spends some of her free time brainstorming ways to help nonprofits that benefit children. This month, Malin is using her own profession as a waay to lend a helping hand.

Contributed Photo

WILTON — In honor of February representing National Children’s Dental Health Month, one local dentist is providing free cleanings and screenings for families who can’t regularly send their children in for care.

Dr. Mariya Malin, of Wilton Smiles on Old Ridgefield Road, said Thursday that she is looking forward to provide full cleaning and screenings for oral disease or infection on Feb. 11 to nearby families, free of charge.

She will be accepting appointments that day for children between the ages 5 and 12. Time slots will be available between 1 and 5 p.m.

“This is going to feel really good to be able to provide this service to really help as many kids as I can,” Malin said.

She said she’s aware that there are many families who “just don’t have the money” right now or are struggling and could benefit from an opportunity like this. Malin, who donates her time to nonprofits and has helped organize events that have raised money to benefit children in the past, said she jumped at the chance to make a difference within her own profession.

According to Malin, the average cost of a child’s cleaning and oral screening, including an X-ray, can run a parent $200 without insurance or a co-pay. In the allotted time on Feb. 11, Malin, who works with just one dental hygienist in the office, expects to complete 20 or so separate cleanings and screenings.

“For those who might not have insurance, they might think (a dental visit) is expensive,” Malin said. “But a hygeine visit is not as expensive as having to deal with a more severe diagnosis.”

Malin hopes to help children and their families avoid having to deal with any long-term oral diseases or infections by screening them now.

The Wilton-based dentist also said she chose the 5-to-12 age rank because children typically start the process of losing their baby teeth just after 5. That process can linger until losing their last baby tooth around age 12, she said.

In that time period, Malin has seen a slight hesitancy to schedule regular dental visits for children as she noted that “some parents think, ‘Oh, it is just their baby teeth, they will fall out, not much bad can happen,’ but that isn’t true.”

In reality, she said, “dental infections are common in children. If their teeth are not maintained, infections and pain can be a result.” She reiterated the importance of screening them while young.

To make certain families with young children are aware of the one-day-only event, Malin is getting in contact with local schools, including neighboring districts like Norwalk, as well as posting on social media. The first few to sign up have been families from outside of Wilton, Malin said.

As of Thursday, Malin said she was not aware of any other dentist offering this service nearby, hence why she is accepting appointments from outside of the immediate area.

“The idea came from February being National Children’s Dental Health Month, but it is a way to help kids that do not have access to dental care,” she said.

Malin said registration is ongoing and that there is still availability. She is asking that parents call her office at 203-762-9907 to inquire about available time slots and to book an appointment.