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Free Dental Checks for Minnesota Kids - No Kidding

January 22, 2007

The Minnesota Dental Association is offering free dental care to all Minnesota kids. Over 1,500 volunteer dentists will be on duty the first Friday and Saturday in February, according to spokeswoman Lindsey Strand.

"We invite anybody who knows a child who needs dental care and treatment, but is unable to pay for it, to get in touch with us now, because there are thousands of free dental appointments that have been reserved the first week in February."

Strand adds every Minnesota kid deserves health coverage, but many aren't getting it.

"It has been quite a challenge, as government reimbursement programs have not kept up with the growing cost of providing health care, as well as continuing issues around access."

Strand believes that funds are available for every Minnesota kid to have access to dental care.

"The state collects millions of dollars from dentists each year. The request from the Minnesota Dental Association is that that money be re-directed back to providing dental care for people in need, and not to the state's general fund. Also, lawmakers should make a commitment that dental care is provided to every child enrolled in a public health program."

She says the February 2 and 3 dates are available at 180 locations statewide, and you can sign up by dialing the United Way at 211. (The number won't work on a cell phone).

More online at www.mndental.org.

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN