MINNEAPOLIS – – Minnesota dentists are offering free dental care to children in need on February 1 and 2, 2019. Appointments can be booked now. The Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) has over 1,200 dental professionals volunteering at nearly 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.

 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:

    • Tooth decay is the most chronic disease of children and adolescents
    • Nearly one in five children aged 5 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 70,000 children and donated services valued at more than $19.7 million over the past 16 years to Give Kids a Smile.

The public can also help support the Give Kids a Smile program by texting Smile25 to 20222 to make a donation of $25.

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.