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Healthy Smile Healthy Child provides free and low-cost dental care to children in need

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 9:43 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Eight out of ten Nevada children suffer with untreated tooth decay.

That’s according to Northern Nevada Dental Health Programs, which seeks to help the state’s uninsured and under-insured children get the dental services they need. Through its Healthy Smile Healthy Child program, it’s able to provide preventive care to help at-risk children maintain healthy teeth and gums and minimize future treatment later. But during the pandemic, the program’s services are needed more than ever.

“We have encountered recently with our current situation that a lot of parents lost their jobs, so now the need is out there more than ever,” says Monica Vazquez, Dental Program Coordinator for Healthy Smile Healthy Child.

Vazquez says more families are just learning about the program, but there are still many out there who could use their services and don’t realize it’s an option.

“We’re here to advocate and navigate any of the parents that need our resources,” says Vazquez, who says it’s not just families without insurance who qualify for their help. “There is a need for those kids who are uninsured. Sometimes, they don’t qualify for Medicaid or Nevada Checkup because their income is slightly high. So you have those children who are stuck between not having commercial insurance because it’s too expensive and don’t qualify for any state programs, so we kind of fill in the gap there and provide those services for those children.”

Dental volunteers do pro bono work to help make the program possible. Fundraising events and direct donations are also critical in keeping to cover dental lab and operational costs and assist the program to treat future cases.

This month, the program’s biggest fundraiser is taking place. Northern Nevada Dental Health Programs (NNDHP) is hosting its 18th Annual Joel F. Glover, DDS Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, September 25 at Red Hawk Golf and Resort. The late Dr. Joel F. Glover was a local dentist who was passionate about giving back and NNDHP continues to honor his legacy by hosting the fundraiser. The event is sold out, but community members can still help support the Healthy Smile Healthy Child program through financial donations all year.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation, visit http://nndhp.org/donate/

For more information about Healthy Smile Healthy Child, visit http://nndhp.org/children/

You can also email: nndhp@nndhp.org or call 775-337-0296.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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