The Feb.3 “Give Kids a Smile” day at LSC’s Dental Hygiene Clinic served 63 children of all ages. “It was the most productive clinic we’ve had as far as restoration work goes,” said clinic coordinator Cindy Upton. Donated services, including exams, cleanings, sealants, x-rays, fillings and extractions, were estimated in value at more than $16,000.
The one-day free clinic is available to all children under 18 years old on a first-come, first-serve basis. There’s always a waiting list. “We did as much as we could in six hours,” said Upton. “It’s always bittersweet for me because we can’t serve all the children who need help and probably have nowhere else to go.” Volunteers staffing the clinic included seven dentists, eight registered dental hygienists, six registered dental assistants, two office staff, and twenty LSC dental hygiene students.
The “Give Kids a Smile” program is a statewide outreach effort coordinated by the Minnesota Dental Association whose members are committed to providing all children with dental care and improving access to care throughout Minnesota. Now in its 10th year, “Give Kids a Smile” has provided free dental care to more than 45,000 children.