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Local dentist, ‘Mighty Molar’ assist CazCares

“Mighty Molar,” center, stands with the team from CazCares Story Room’s “TEETH” program.  From left, Cindy McCall, Cazenovia Library Literacy; Marcia Marshall, Goel Family Dentistry; Cheri Elefante, Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network; and Carla Zimmerman, Cazenovia Library Literacy.

“Mighty Molar,” center, stands with the team from CazCares Story Room’s “TEETH” program. From left, Cindy McCall, Cazenovia Library Literacy; Marcia Marshall, Goel Family Dentistry; Cheri Elefante, Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network; and Carla Zimmerman, Cazenovia Library Literacy.

— How do you get pre-school kids and their families excited about brushing their teeth?

“Start with free toothbrushes!” said dental-hygiene advocate “Mighty Molar.”

Mighty Molar delighted pre-school students with his recent visit to CazCares at Cazenovia Public Library’s dental health awareness program, “TEETH.”

Throughout the eight-week program, the offices of Cazenovia and DeRuyter dentist Dr. Vikas Goel, of Goel Family Dentistry, offered food pantry families free dental goodies such as toothbrushes, dental floss and toothpaste, as well as information on good dental care.

Hosted by the Story Room at CazCares, the program kicked off with a presentation by Cheri Elefante of Mohawk Valley Perinatal Network. Through the help of Goel Family Dentistry, the guest appearance by Seven Valley Health Coalition’s “Mighty Molar” was also featured.

Dr. Goel graduated from the University of Iowa where he received a degree in biomedical engineering. He completed his training at Boston University School of Dental Medicine, doing a general practice residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. He completed a fellowship with the Brooklyn VA hospital in oral surgery before starting in private practice.

By then Dr. Goel and his wife had had enough of living in New York City, and were attracted to the natural beauty of Central New York and the quality of life in its small towns. He opened his DeRuyter office in early April 2009. His office in Cazenovia opened in May 2009, located at 132 Albany St.

Dr. Goel attends continuing education conferences to further his knowledge of dentistry and integrates the latest techniques into his practice, providing his patients with optimal care. He also volunteers as an attending at St Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse where he helps train dental residents.

Dr. Goel and his staff are particularly committed to helping children and families receive good dental care. Besides their sponsorship of the “TEETH” program at CazCares, Goel Family Dentistry has sponsored visits from local Head Start programs, including Cazenovia Head Start, during which each preschool child receives a free dental cleaning and information on good dental care.

The Story Room at CazCares provides an early literacy program in an open, drop-in format. Preschool learning concepts are emphasized through play, learning activities and reading to children. Volunteers are always needed in the Story Room.

For more information about the Story Room at CazCares, call Cazenovia Public Library at 655-9322 or contact cazliteracy@midyork.org.

Cindy McCall is a Literacy Coordinator at Cazenovia Public Library. She can be reached at 655-9322 or through the organization’s website, cazenoviapubliclibrary.org.

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