A total of 16 north central Idaho dentists will provide free oral health exams, cleanings and x-rays to area children in February as part of the Give Kids a Smile event in association with National Children’s Oral Health Month.
The event is sponsored by the Regence Caring Foundation for Children, Public Health – Idaho North Central District and Delta Dental and is open to those in kindergarten through 6th grade without dental insurance. Those interested in receiving care are asked to contact individual dental offices to make appointments (see dentists and numbers below).
Following is a list of participating dentists and contact numbers for appointments. The entire list is also available on the Regence Caring Foundation for Children Web site at www.caringfoundationforchildren.org.
Dr. Richard Bailey and Dr. Kent Simmons – 743-5971
Dr. John J. Johnson – 798-7955
Dentistry “4” Children, Dr. Curtis Wiggins and Dr. Jeremy Wiggins – 743-2505
Bearable Dentistry, Dr. Gerald Weitz, Dr. Dustin Weitz and Dr. Bryan Schiavoni – 882-3214
Dr. Clay Hansen – 882-4923
Palouse Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Karen Sept – 882-9999
Dr. Michael Nelson – 983-2422
Dr. Tyler Harrington and Dr. Brad Schaff – 983-0105
Dr. Jeff Sowle – 289-3221
Dr. John A. Johnson – 924-5830
Dr. Michael McCall – 935-2143
“Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease,” said Kathy Ellis, Idaho director of the Regence Caring Foundation for Children. “Studies indicate the oral health problem in our nation is serious, sometimes causing overall long-term health issues. We’re trying to remedy this widespread problem with preventive procedures early in life. We want to help kids become healthy, strong members of our communities.”
Ellis said the Foundation partners with more than 150 dentists in Idaho, as well as with health departments and schools, to reach children whose health could be threatened for a lifetime from the complications of poor dental care in childhood.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, left untreated dental disease threatens to rob a child of much more than a smile, with far-reaching results such as:
• School absenteeism
• Weight loss
• Poor self-esteem
• Speech impediments
• Life-threatening infections
• Costly emergency room visits
“Because positive first impressions are often made with a smile, it is the Regence Caring Foundation for Children’s goal that every child has a healthy smile,” Ellis said. “Being able to reach and treat children who otherwise might go without dental care gives us something to smile about. Our ultimate goal is that those kids will be able to smile along with us.”
More information about the Regence Caring Foundation for Children is available by calling toll-free 1-866-938-0084.
About the Regence Caring Foundation for Children
The Regence Caring Foundation for Children, a 501(c)(3) organization, provides free dental care to eligible children in Idaho. It is sponsored and administered by Regence BlueShield of Idaho and has provided thousands of children with free dental care. Participating dentists provide dental services to eligible children at reduced rates. The Foundation is funded through tax-deductible contributions from individuals, corporations, civic groups, churches and other foundations. Contributions to help those children in need can be sent to Regence Caring Foundation for Children at P.O. Box 2560, Boise, ID 83701. For more information, visit our Web site at www.caringfoundationforchildren.org.