Nearly 11% of Delaware County children did not receive a dental exam in the last year, the highest rate in the five-county region.

Many children don’t see a dentist because they don’t have health insurance and their parents can’t afford to pay out of pocket. These families need more options because untreated oral health problems contribute to other medical problems and students with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school because of dental pain.

Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) is trying to close this gap by providing free dental care to at least 160 Delaware County children at the 2019 Give Kids a Smile event to be held at local dentist practices from April 15-22. This program can also help to establish a permanent relationship with a dentist for the children.

For the past fifteen years, the Give Kids a Smile event has not only helped to increase access to dental care for children, but also connected them to health insurance. In the same phone call parents make for the dental appointment, they can be guided through the cumbersome process of enrolling their kids in CHIP or Medicaid if they don’t already participate.

If you are interested or know a child who would benefit from the Give Kids a Smile event, please visit their website for more information. The call center is live and ready to take appointments – no child will be turned away. PCCY is also always looking for more dentists and volunteers to help support the call center and spread the word.