Minnesota Dental Association's annual charitable event Give Kids a Smile is coming up February 5th and 6th.

Nearly 1,000 dental professionals around Minnesota -- including over 80 in Central Minnesota -- will be volunteering their services the first Friday and Saturday of February towards kids in need. Give Kids a Smile is the annual charitable event of the Minnesota Dental Association, Minnesota Dental Foundation, volunteer dentists and special sponsors. In 2020 2,173 children statewide received care from 93 hosting clinics, 233 dentists, and 1,350 total volunteers, reports MNDental.org.

This year, over 50 clinics around Minnesota will be taking appointments for kids in need of professional dental services. Participating clinics are easy to find with the Minnesota Dental Association's clinic finder here. Over 80 dentists around Central Minnesota -- including in Saint Cloud, Sartell, Waite Park, Sauk Rapids, St. Joseph, Rice, Foley, Avon, Albany, Cold Spring and Becker -- will be accepting appointments. According to PR Newswire, patients must be 18 years or younger and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. PR Newswire lists these as common dental issues and needs among children:

  • Tooth decay is one of the most chronic disease of children and adolescents
  • Nearly one in five children aged 5 to 11 years old has untreated cavities in their baby teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Well over half of Minnesota children enrolled in Medicaid have not received dental services in the past year - with the situation made worse by Minnesota ranking among the lowest-in-the-nation for reimbursement of government dental program fees

Most clinics will be recognizing Give Kids a Smile February 5 and 6, though some may choose to take appointments at a later date. Find a clinic near you here.

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