WJTV News Channel 12 - DURHAM: Free dental exams provided to low-income children

Free dental exams provided to low-income children in Durham

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The Durham County Department of Public Health and local dental professionals hosted a free back to school event for children of low-income families in need of dental care. The Durham County Department of Public Health and local dental professionals hosted a free back to school event for children of low-income families in need of dental care.
DURHAM, N.C. -

The Durham County Department of Public Health and local dental professionals hosted a free back to school event for children of low-income families in need of dental care.

The event is called “Back to School Smiles” and this is the third year of the event, which continues to grow each year. This year the event is completely full.

Dental professionals will provide children with free dental exams.

Dentists said many low-income parents don't realize that their child's oral health is as important as annual checkups with a primary care physician.

“There's diabetes, there's heart issues that occur from bacteria in the mouth that can make heart conditions worse,” said Miriam McIntosh, a public health dentist. “There's a lot of information we'd like to relate to parents so their children will get a better start in life,” she added.

The “Back to School Smiles” program sees about 100 children per year. Friday's event started at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 1:00 p.m. and officials will provide about 40 dental exams.

Communications and Public Relations Manager for the Durham County Department of Public Health Eric Nickens, Jr. said all of the services provided Friday are free. If further appointments are necessary, Nicken's said a sliding scale payment system can be set up to help those families pay for their child's future dental expenses.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved. Steve Sbraccia contributed to this article.

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