Low income kids in Pinellas County can see a dentist for free Monday and organizers hope more children will take part this year.
The Pinellas Department of Health hosts the event every year for children between the ages of 4 and 18 who have no insurance or are on Medicaid.
But in the past, turnout has not been as strong as officials would like, said Maggie Hall, spokeswoman for Pinellas Department of Health.
“Traditionally, we haven't seen a big demand, which is kind of concerning because it's an opportunity to have services at no cost,” Hall said.
It's important for kids to start taking care of their teeth when they are young, Hall said.
“Dental health should be a focus throughout your life,” Hall said. “The development of baby teeth can affect adult teeth later. It’s a good idea to make sure your children have proper dental care, screenings, cleanings or x-rays.”
Dentists from the department of health and volunteers will provide exams, x-rays, sealants and cleanings. If kids need fillings or extractions, they can get them for free by making another appointment. No appointments are necessary and patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents must be present.
The Give Kids a Smile event will take place between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday at three locations: 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg; 8751 Ulmerton Rd., Largo; and 310 N. Myrtle Ave., Clearwater.