News

Affordable dental care for children

The SmileMobile, a fully equipped mobile dentist office, returns to Sequim's Boys & Girls Club from July 26-Aug. 10.

Nearly 60 percent of elementary-school-aged children in Washington have dental decay. The
SmileMobile program aims to help children with limited family income receive dental care.
Depending on income, parents receive up to 90 percent off their child's dental care costs.

Lindsey Richardson, whose children are club members, said the service is phenomenal and all three of her children have used it. "It's a great help because it's hard to find people who take DSHS, especially for children," Richardson said. Medicaid coupons are accepted and a sliding fee scale is used for those not eligible for Medicaid.

Trucking the smiles

Volunteer dentists and assistants staff the SmileMobile. Three chairs at a time are open for children up to age 18. Services include exams, preventive services, fillings and minor oral surgery. Children with serious dental problems are referred for appropriate care.

Mary Budke, Sequim Boys & Girls Club unit director and interim executive director, said most
people who need dental care for their children don't call in or find out about it until it's too late.
"If you know a neighbor in need, please let them know and have them call us," Budke said.
Last year. 70 children participated. So far 50 children are registered, with a goal of 100.

About the mobile

The SmileMobile started 15 years ago with support from the Washington Dental Service
Foundation and Seattle Children's Hospital. The aim is to prevent oral disease, expand access to
dental care and increase awareness of the importance of oral health. It has helped 25,000 children statewide. This is the ninth year it has come to the Olympic Peninsula. Call the Sequim Boys and Girls Club at 683-8095 by Friday, July 23, for an appointment.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com

  • Who: SmileMobile, traveling dentist office
  • What: Dental care for children up to age 18
  • Where: Sequim Boys & Girls Club, 400 W. Fir St.,  Sequim
  • When: July 26-Aug. 10
  • Includes: Exams, preventive care and more
  • Schedule appointments by calling 683-8095
  • or visiting the club by Friday, July 23.
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