Local dentists offer free care for kids during event Feb. 1 and 2

Minnesota dentists will be providing free dental care services for children in need during the Minnesota Dental Association’s 11th annual Give Kids a Smile event Feb. 1 and 2.

This unique dentistry event is expected to provide care to 6,000 children at over 200 dental clinics throughout the state.

Clinics taking place in Anoka County include:

• Andover Family Dentistry, 3480 Bunker Lake Blvd. N.W., #202, Andover, Feb. 1, 8 a.m. to noon.

• Ling Family Dentistry, 10945 Ulysses St. N.E., Blaine, Feb. 2, 1 to 4 p.m.

• Metro Dentalcare, 261 N.E. County Road 10, Blaine, Feb. 1, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Metro Dentalcare, 4255 Pheasant Ridge Drive N.E., Suite 407, Blaine, Feb. 2, 8 to 11 a.m.

• Ascent Family Dentistry, 5207 University Ave. N.E., Columbia Heights, Feb. 1, 8 a.m. to noon.

• Metro Dentalcare, 13040 Riverdale Drive, Coon Rapids, Feb. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Park Dental, 9055 Springbrook Drive, Suite 201, Coon Rapids, Feb. 1, 1 to 4 p.m.

• St. Francis Dental, Bridge St., St. Francis, Feb. 1, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Minnesota Dental Association is sponsoring the 11th consecutive year of Give Kids a Smile as part of the national Children’s Dental Health Month in February.

“We encourage all parents to ensure their children have smiles for life through good oral health habits and regular visits to the dentist,” said Dr. Michael Flynn, president of the Minnesota Dental Association and a practicing dentist in Lewiston.

“However, we recognize that some families may face barriers to obtaining care, so we are pleased to provide this free program to those children.”

Patients seeking appointments should be 18 years or younger and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. People interested in scheduling an appointment can call United Way 211 (just dial 211), or the statewide toll-free number 1-800-543-7709.

To see a list of clinics providing care go to www.mndental.org. Information on specific services provided will be outlined when an appointment is scheduled.

Since Give Kids a Smile began, Minnesota dentists have provided free care to nearly 50,000 young children and donated services valued at more than $15 million. Volunteers speaking multiple languages have been engaged to eliminate language barriers.

School nurses actively partner to make sure families are aware of the program.

According to a Minnesota Dental Association press release, dental disease remains more prevalent today than childhood asthma.

Tooth decay is the most chronic childhood disease, affecting 50 percent of U.S. first graders, and Minnesota is ranked 39th nationally in dental fee reimbursements for treating children on government health programs, with dentists only paid 35 percent of their actual fee for providing the care, compared with 60 percent nationally, the press release states.

For more facts on the Minnesota Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile, go to mndental.org or Facebook.

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