Book Free Dental Checks At Kids Smiles Feb. 5

The Nonprofit Dental Clinic Will Offer Appointments Regardless of Insurance on Feb. 5

Kids Smiles Dental Clinic. (Courtesy: Kids Smiles)

Parents of uninsured children who need dental care can schedule a free appointment for Feb. 5 at the Kids Smiles dental clinic at 4837 Benning Road SE. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the clinic dentists will celebrate national Give Kids a Smile Day by checking and repairing teeth for children from infancy to age 18 regardless of insurance or payment concerns.

To schedule an appointment, parents can call 202-650-5238.

Beth Young, the development director at Kids Smile, a nonprofit dental center, said many dentists do not accept Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). With centers in Philadelphia and the District, she said Kids Smiles has helped more than 65,000 children over the past decade.

“We are often serving children who face the greatest barriers to accessing dental care," Young said. “Location, family schedules, getting to the clinic, insurance or lack thereof all block these families.”

Young said oral health directly affects overall health because decay and infections can leach into the blood system or other parts of the body. Parents and children need to prioritize dental care as much as physical care. Nutrition and food choices can both help and hurt efforts to protect teeth and body.

Preventative care can forestall costly procedures caused by decay and a lapse in proper cleaning, she said. But for some families, the cost of simple dental care stops them from keeping up with maintenance.

“We want to provide that first access to children and their parents so that they can come in, have their exams, have x-rays, and a cleaning,” Young said. “We will do as much as we can when they come in.”

She said they also try to connect families with insurance options or let them know if their coverage lapsed.

Whatever the need, Kids Smiles opens doors for all. 


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