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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Regional Smiles Program to Offer Free Dental Cleanings for Uninsured Children in Wake County

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Wake County North Carolina
Wake County North Carolina
Wake County is located in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of July 1, 2019, the population was 1,111,761, making it North Carolina's most populous county as well as the most populous county in the Carolinas. From July 2005 to July 2006, Wake County was the 9th fastest-growing county in the United States, with the town of Cary and the city of Raleigh being the 8th and 15th fastest-growing cities, respectively. Its county seat is Raleigh, which is also the state capital. Eleven other municipalities are in Wake County, the largest of which is Cary, the third largest city of the Research Triangle region and the seventh largest municipality in North Carolina.

The award-winning Wake County Smiles at Sunnybrook program is giving parents and kids something to smile about.

In an effort to increase access to underserved areas of the county, the no-cost dental cleanings held at the Sunnybrook Public Health Center in Raleigh will expand to become the new Regional Smiles program, where a dental team will host monthly dental clinics at regional centers throughout the county. The service will provide preventative treatment for uninsured Wake County children ages 0 to 20 years at no charge to families.

“Dental health is so important to our overall health, but many families can’t afford to take their children to a dentist,” said Wake County Commissioner Donald Mial. “February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so what better way to celebrate than to break down financial barriers for parents who want to ensure their children have access to this vital service.”

Regional Smiles will offer:

  • Exams
  • Cleanings
  • Fluoride applications
  • X-rays
  • Education

Smiles at Sunnybrook is a grant-funded initiative through the NC Office of Rural Health. Since October 2017, the program has helped more than 4,600 children in our community.

“Tooth decay is the No. 1 chronic infectious disease impacting children in the United States, but it is largely preventable,” said Wake County Dental Director Dr. Rebecca Sykes. “Our hope is that Regional Smiles will teach more children and young adults good oral hygiene habits and set them up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.”

Regional Smiles will allow access to dental care for underserved areas of the county that may not be able to visit the Sunnybrook location in Raleigh. The initial clinic will be at the Northern Regional Center in Wake Forest, with the expectation that these will become monthly offerings and expand to other regional centers, including those in Zebulon, Fuquay-Varina and Cary.

Regional Smiles will be available by appointment only. Visits can be scheduled by calling 919-250-4610 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To learn more about Wake County’s dental clinics, visit wake.gov/smiles.

Photo by Nadezhda Moryak


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