Middletown based Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC),the state’s largest provider of primary care services to underserved populations - will be sponsoring a series of Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS) events throughout the month of February, in locations across the state –Community Health Center of Middletown’s event will be held on Tuesday, February 16th.
The event in our city will take place from 8am-7pm on Tuesday, February 16th, at 675 Main Street, will offer cleanings, exams, restorative care, fluoride treatments, sealants and fillings, and dental education. Children do not need to be a patient of CHC to take advantage of the free dental services.
“Every year our GKAS events provide both hygiene visits and restorative care to hundreds of uninsured children across the state of Connecticut. Having a healthy smile is critical to a child’s overall well-being as it impacts their ability to consume healthy foods, learn, and have a positive self-image,” explained Yvette Highsmith Francis, Vice President, Eastern Region, Community Health Center, Inc. “Our dental teams also use the day to provide important oral hygiene education to families about the importance of brushing and flossing to prevent future decay.”
Nearly one in four children aged two to 11 years old has untreated cavities in their baby teeth, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many children enrolled in Medicaid receive no dental services throughout the year.
“The oral health of Connecticut’s children has been improving over the years; however disparities remain for low income and minority children,” explained Dr. Heather Crockett-Miller, DDS, MPH. “Many of the children we serve during Give Kids A Smile don’t have their own toothbrush – they often have to share with their siblings. Every child who attends an event will leave with their own personal oral hygiene kit.”
Give Kids A Smile is held annually to:
- Provide free, easily accessible dental services to qualifying children.
- Raise awareness of the epidemic of untreated dental disease occurring locally and nationally and create local public and private partnerships to increase access to oral health care to solve this crisis.
CHC has been hosting Give Kids A Smile events for 13 years in communities across the state as a way to provide free dental care to local children who desperately need it. These events have provided free care to thousands of children who otherwise would not have been able to afford it.
The American Dental Association (ADA) launched the Give Kids A Smile program nationally in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. Each year, about 350,000 to 400,000 children benefit from more than 1,500 events, thanks to the efforts of 40,000 or more annual volunteers nationwide.