Minnesota Dental Association's annual charitable event Give Kids a Smile is coming up February 4th and 5th.

Nearly 1,000 dental professionals around Minnesota will be volunteering their services the first Friday and Saturday of February for 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's event takes place February 4 and 5. Over 50 clinics across the state will be volunteering dental services for kids ages 18 and younger. Participating locations can be found here; appointments can be made by contacting the clinic directly. Walk-in appointments will not be available. No eligibility questions will be asked in an effort to remove any possible barrier to care.

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

Last year, 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 -- participated in Give Kids a Smile. Check the list of participating locations to see which Central Minnesota clinics are participating this year.

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