Mon County Health Department holding Give Kids a Smile Day

MORGANTOWN — Children without dental insurance will be able to get treatment Friday.

The Monongalia County Health Department’s full-service dental office will be once again holding Give Kids a Smile Day, according to a recent release.

It’s participating in the American Dental Association’s event for the ninth year.

“It’s an initiative by the ADA that encourages dentists to open up their offices to children the first Friday in February to provide dental care to children who don’t have dental insurance,” said Dr. Dan Carrier, director of MCHD Dentistry, Monongalia County Health Department’s full-service dental office.

“It’s to help those kids with treatment and get the care they need, and it also raises awareness for the need for oral health in children.”

According to the press release, appointments can be made for children up to age 18, who do not have dental insurance. During a 30- to 40-minute appointment, children and teens will receive a dental checkup, a cleaning and a fluoride treatment with a dental hygienist, and will be seen by Carrier.

The ADA launched Give Kids a Smile Day in 2003 as a way for dental care providers to join with others in their communities to offer free dental services to underserved children.

Last year, 64 children were seen during MCHD Dentistry’s Give Kids a Smile event.

Good oral health is vital for good overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood in the U.S. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing and learning.

In addition to the checkup, children and their parents participating in Give Kids a Smile will also receive oral health education materials.

“We’ll have balloons and toothbrushes to give away,” Carrier said. “We do everything we can to make it a positive, fun day for the kids.”

Parents and guardians who plan to take their children to Give Kids a Smile should remember:

  • The event is only for children up to age 18 without dental insurance.
  • The child must have an appointment.
  • Appointments are limited and are expected to fill up quickly.

To make an appointment for Give Kids a Smile, call 304-598-5108. Directions to MCHD Dentistry can be found on our website at monchd.org/dentistry.

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