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Know a kid who could use free dental care? Signup underway for MN families

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Dentists across Minnesota will give free care to as many as 5,000 children next month – and they're asking the public to help line up appointments for kids who need them.

This year's Give Kids a Smile event is set for Feb. 5 and 6 at more than 150 offices and clinics around the state, the Minnesota Dental Association says.

More than 2,000 professionals have volunteered to provide exams, cleanings, fillings, and sealant.

St. Paul dentist Peter Cannon, this year's president of the state dental association, says: “Everyone probably knows a family or child that could benefit from a dental visit, but for a variety of reasons the family has not been able to make it happen. We ask you to reach out to them and help them make an appointment. Together, we can get these children the care they need.”

This is the 14th year for Give Kids a Smile in Minnesota. Last year's event served about 4,000 kids.

Find a list of clinics with open appointments here or call the United Way at 211 to arrange one by phone.

Appointments are for kids 18 or younger and they must be with a parent or legal guardian. Translation services are available.

Organizers say the clinics are for any family that needs help getting access to dental care an no eligibility questions will be asked.

The Minnesota Dental Association said last year the clinics rarely fill up, but it may happen at offices in some rural areas.

The association's executive director Carmelo Cinqueonce said after last year's event that seeing all 4,000 kids who benefitted from the medical care in one place would be an overwhelming sight, but "Instead, you’ll find them in schools and communities throughout Minnesota, free to smile without embarrassment, free of pain.”

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