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Elizabethtown’s upcoming Second Saturday is offering a service not always readily available — free dental screenings for children.
Rachel Todd, dental hygienist, will perform the screenings July 14 in the Downtown Square for those who need the check-up mandated by state legislation.
House Bill 186 requires kindergartners and children of any age who are new to Kentucky schools — many who are children in a military family — to have a dental screening on record. However, this isn’t an easy thing for some.
“It’s expensive,” Todd said. “A lot of kids just don’t have the ability.”
Even those with the Passport Health Plan have difficulty receiving screenings because the insurance covers a small number of dentists in the county.
Todd has begun to offer her dental services for free to children in Hardin County who need them.
The screenings search for early childhood decay or urgent dental problems.
“We know now more than ever that the oral health is connected to the overall health of the body,” Todd said.
And these serious issues affect attendance and focus in school as well as nutrition.
After the screenings are completed, no further services are available to those who can’t afford them if urgent dental needs are found, she said.
“So they’re really unmet needs,” Todd said.
Paperwork for screenings must be turned in on Jan. 1 of each year, and if they aren’t, schools are penalized.
“The schools get really frantic around December,” she said.
Todd said her services on Saturday are open to all, including those who just need a last-minute screening.
Elizabeth Beilmancan be reached at (270) 505-1740 or email@example.com.