How can we help "Give Kids a Smile"?
Concerned about the high number of low-income children in Minnesota with untreated dental problems, about 500 dentists have freed their schedules on Feb. 7 and 8 to serve these children at no cost. As of today, more than 2,300 appointments are still available. We need your help spreading the word about this program, called "Give Kids a Smile."
Dental clinics are participating in the following communities: Albertville, Alexandria, Andover, Apple Valley, Arlington, Baxter, Belle Plaine, Blaine, Bloomington, Brainerd, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Buffalo, Burnsville, Cambridge, Chisago City, Chisholm, Clearwater, Cloquet, Coleraine, Coon Rapids, Cottage Grove, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Elbow Lake, Faribault, Farmington, Glencoe, Golden Valley, Grand Rapids, Hastings, Hinckley, Hutchinson, Inver Grove Heights, Mankato, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Medina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, North Branch North Mankato, Owatonna, Perham, Pine City, Plymouth, Princeton, Red Wing, Renville, Richfield, Rochester, Rockford, Rosemount, Roseville, Rush City, Saint Anthony, Saint Charles, Saint Cloud, Saint Francis, Saint Louis Park, Saint Paul, Saint Peter, Sauk Rapids, Savage, Shakopee, Stillwater, Victoria, Waconia, Wadena, West Saint Paul, White Bear Lake, Willmar, Winona, and Woodbury.
Please tell parents that they can find a clinic in their area by viewing an online list at mndental.org or by calling United Way 2-1-1 (just dial 2-1-1). Once they find a conveniently located clinic, parents should call the clinic immediately to schedule appointments for their children.
You may be surprised to learn that one in every four children suffers from dental decay. That number rises for children from lower-income families, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Dentists know that untreated dental decay causes pain and infections that may lead to problems eating, speaking, playing and learning.
Those children are in our classrooms, clinics and communities. Please post promotional fliers and distribute information sheets. You can find resources in multiple languages on this webpage. Please also share this message with your colleagues who work with families in need.