Non-Profit Offers Free Dental Care | Charity
The tough economy has hurt a lot of different facets of the Las Vegas community including children’s dental care but local non-profits are coming forward to fill that void.
Earlier this month, the United Way announced it was giving thousands of dollars to the group Future Smiles to run free dental clinics for kids 2 to 18 years old in southern Nevada.
"We'll clean their teeth and provide oral hygiene instruction which is very important; many of these children don't have that opportunity to learn about their teeth,” said Future Smiles Public Health Dental Hygienist Eileen Mohr.
Mohr has seen a lot of cases of gum disease and gingivitis but the group has been able to help more than 1,500 kids in the Las Vegas valley get dental care this year. The grant from the United Way is expected to help 900 more kids this summer.
A study by the United Way and Nevada Community Foundation found Nevada was first in the country in the prevalence of tooth decay. The study also shows that 42 percent of third graders have not been to the dentist in the last year.
"At least 12 percent have not ever been to a dentist at all in southern Nevada and 71 percent of our third graders have suffered tooth decay already,” said Director of Community Development with the United Way Melissa Dobar.
Future Smiles has set up its clinic at Cunningham Elementary School near Flamingo Road and Jimmy Durante Boulevard. Appointments are based on walk-in availability only. The dental services include screenings, protective sealants, fluoride varnish, cleanings and education.
The schedule for the clinics:
Week of July 17th
- Tuesday & Wednesday: 8 a.m. to noon
- Thursday: 9am-1pm
Week of July 24
- Monday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Tuesday & Wednesday: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
- Thursday & Friday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services also offers plans for free or reduced dental and medical help. You must qualify for the assistance based on income. Check out more at the Department of Health and Human Services website.