BOISE, Idaho — February is just around the corner, marking the start of National Children's Dental Health Month. One nationwide program celebrates the period by offering dental care to children from uninsured and low-income families.
Give Kids A Smile is run in Idaho by the Idaho State Dental Association and sponsored by the American Dental Association. Participating dentists, like Children's Dentistry, offer free dental care to children across the state. Families and students are notified of the program through flyers or emails from their schools.
During the Give Kids A Smile event, children receive a free dental exam that includes x-rays, dental cleanings, and preventative treatment. If further treatment is necessary, some may be completed that day, or a referral will be made to a volunteer dentist for a follow up.
Dentists will also share ways for kids to keep their mouth healthy and talk about the importance of brushing every day. One of the event's goals is to help children and families see just how important it is to get ahead of oral health challenges like cavities.
Last year, 1,174 children received $221,046 worth of dental care for free. That marks a 23% increase in care from 2018 when children received $179,790 worth of free dental care.
To take part in the local Give Kids A Smile event, parents or guardians need to call Children's Dentistry to schedule an appointment during the event on Friday, February 28. Walk-ins will also be accepted on a first come, first serve basis from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. If someone is unable to make it on the 28th, they can schedule an appointment at Nampa Smiles, Children's Dentistry, or Trailridge Family Dental in Parma.
To find more participating dentists across the state, click here. The sooner you schedule your child's appointment the better.