MINNEAPOLIS  – –  January 2, 2018 – Minnesota dentists are offering free dental care to children in need on February 2 and 3, 2018. Appointments can be booked now. The Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) has over 1,000 dental professionals volunteering at more than 100 clinics across the state for Give Kids a Smile.

Finding a clinic with open appointments is as easy as calling United Way 211 (just dial 2-1-1) or by visiting mndental.org. Appointments can then be scheduled directly with the dental office.

“Preventive care is critical to maintaining good dental health and overall wellbeing and we will continue to participate in efforts to help those families who face barriers to accessing dental care,” said Dr. R. David Resch, president of the Minnesota Dental Association and a practicing dentist in St. Paul. “We are very excited to again provide this free program and to instill healthy oral health habits to Minnesota children.”

Patients must be 18 years or younger and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Dentists will be providing free exams, fillings and sealants. Specific services provided at each location will be outlined when an appointment is scheduled. Volunteers speaking multiple languages are also available at many locations to help with language barriers.

Among the challenges:

    • Dental disease remains more prevalent today than childhood asthma
    • Nearly one in four children aged 2 to 11 years old has untreated cavities in their baby teeth, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Well over half of Minnesota children enrolled in Medicaid have not received dental services in the past year – with the situation made worse by Minnesota ranking among the lowest-in-the-nation for reimbursement of government dental program fees

Minnesota dentists have provided free care to more than 68,000 children and donated services valued at more than $18.5 million over the past 15 years to Give Kids a Smile.

For more information about the Minnesota Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile, visit mndental.org.

The Minnesota Dental Association is the voice of dentistry in Minnesota, representing practicing dentists. It is committed to the highest standards of oral health and access to care for all Minnesotans. You can learn more at www.mndental.org.