UW School of Dentistry

Children offered free dental care at UW clinic on Feb. 20

Sign-up spaces are still available for children’s free preventive dental care at the University of Washington’s Center for Pediatric Dentistry on Feb. 20.

Resident with patient
A young patient has a checkup at the Center for Pediatric Dentistry.

The annual Give Kids a Smile day, which is sponsored by Bartell Drugs, offers children free dental exams, X-rays and fluoride treatments from 1 to 5 p.m. The first 50 children to sign up will receive the free care.  Children ages 1-18 are welcome, although the event is limited to new patients at the Center.

The Center is located at 6222 NE 74th St. just inside Magnuson Park in Seattle. Appointments are required and can be made at 206-543-5800.

Give Kids a Smile comes during Children’s Dental Health Month, and it helps highlight the important of good oral health for youngsters. Tooth decay remains the leading preventable childhood disease, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children make their first visit to the dentist when that first tooth appears or by the first birthday, whichever comes first.

The AAPD also recommends that toddlers receive exams and fluoride varnish twice a year. School-age children should receive twice-yearly exams and sealants, which teenagers should receive twice-yearly exams and sealants and have their wisdom teeth evaluated.

Parents should also know the basics of good children’s oral health:

  • Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time
  • Flossing each day
  • Choosing healthy snacks that are low in sugar
  • Wearing a mouthguard when playing active sports

The AAPD, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Dental Association all recommend that parents establish a “dental home,” or a regular dental office for all of their children’s dental needs,  by their first birthday.

For more information about children’s oral health and the Center, visit the Center’s website.