WJTV News Channel 12 - Gov. Pat McCrory helps "Give Kids A Smile" in Greenville

Gov. Pat McCrory helps "Give Kids A Smile" in Greenville

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -
Governor Pat McCrory made a visit to the east Friday morning as a part of "Give Kids a Smile Day."

Co-Chairman of the event, Dr. Billy Williams, says 140 kids came out to Dr. Jasper Lewis' Office to be seen by a dentist.  It's the 12th year for the event, where kids get everything from a teeth cleaning to fillings at no cost. 
     
For the second year in a row, Lynn Faircloth brought her son to the ‘Give Kids A Smile’ event. Dentists and dental teams provided free oral care services to low-income children.      

"You know when you've got children that don't have dental insurance; I think it is a wonderful thing. I think it improves not only their overall health, but it makes them feel better about themselves," Faircloth said.

The annual program got a major endorsement Friday. Governor Pat McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and local lawmakers showed up to show their support.

“One of the reasons the healthcare system is broken in our nation is because we're not doing enough work on prevention,” McCrory said. 
North Carolina is among the worst for children's dental health. A ‘Pew Charitable Trusts’ study gave the state an 'F' for not doing enough to prevent tooth decay. This ultimately drives up health care costs for families and taxpayers.  

 “Getting oral health right for children really changes their health for the rest of their life," Speaker Tillis said.

Doctors like Billy Williams, co-chair of the ‘Give Kids A Smile’ clinic say the lack of dental care for children is far worse in rural areas. The state is also reporting a shortage of dentists. Even with a newly-opened dental school and increased enrollment at another----experts project that the state's ratio will decline to 4.2 dentists for every 10,000 people by 2015.
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