JANUARY 2, 2019 -- Thousands of dental professionals are joining forces to provide free dental care to children in need. The event, "Give Kids a Smile," is coordinated by the Minnesota Dental Association. The state's dental professionals are concerned about the increasing number of low-income children who face obstacles to obtaining dental care. On the first Friday and Saturday of February, dentists will provide care to less fortunate children. The dental care will be available in community-based clinics and private practices throughout Minnesota.
All patients must have appointments in advance and be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. After January 1, services will vary from preventative care, which includes cleanings, sealants and fluroride treatment, to restorative care, which includeds fillings. Information on specific services that will be provided will be outlined when an appointment is scheduled. Typically, clinics treat children ranging in age from 3 to 18. When calling for an appointment, parents should ask about any age requirements. Parents may call United Way 211 (just dial 2-1-1) or 800-543-7709. Operators will have a list of participating dental offices and will be able to direct people to a location in their area. Parents will then call the dental office to schedule an appointment. An online list will also be available at www.mndental.org.