KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — The Knox County Health Department will soon start offering free dental services for children and young adults, through a program made in partnership with the Knox County Schools Welcome Center.
It's called the School-Based Dental Program and will run through June. Children and young adults, between four years old and 21 years old, will be able to receive free services. Those include education, screenings, sealants and fluoride varnish.
“We all want to see our kids smile, which is why dental health is so important,” said Sarah Naill, a dental hygienist with the program. “Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in childhood, yet it is largely a preventable disease. Attending free events like this is an easy step to ensure a healthy smile for children.”
Anyone who wants to schedule an appointment for free dental services can call 865-215-5772. They are available between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. People can schedule appointments for some specific days in June, listed below.
- June 6
- June 8
- June 13
- June 14
- June 15
- June 20
- June 21
- June 22
- June 27
- June 28
Organizers also said that a Spanish-language interpreter will be available to help patients. Anyone who needs to schedule an appointment in Spanish can call 865-215-5114.
Organizers said that around 20% of children between five years old and 11 years old have at least one untreated tooth decay, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to a study from KCHD, children with poor oral health also tend to miss more school and may receive lower grades compared to children with better oral health. Adults may also not attend class or work fewer hours due to unplanned dental visits.