Minnesota dentists are offering free dental care for children in need on February 4 and 5, 2022. Appointments can be booked now. The Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) has nearly 1,000 dental professionals volunteering at over 50 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. No eligibility questions are asked, in an effort to remove any possible barrier to care.
Patients must be 18 years or younger and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 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 one of 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- 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
During this time of COVID-19, extra precautions and safeguards are in place at Give Kids a Smile participating clinics. Dental clinics continue to follow guidance and protocols recommended by the CDC to ensure safety during appointments.
Minnesota dentists have provided free care to more than 81,000 children and donated services valued at more than $24 million since 2003.
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.