College of Dentistry Offering Free Clinics For Kindergartners

Lexington, KY – Dr. Kelly Dingrando, with the UK College of Dentistry, says establishing good oral health is vital to a child's overall well-being.

"There's a lot of kids nowadays that are coming in to the dental office at two, three years old, and all of their teeth are totally rotted out. And this is due to things like sippy cups with juice in it, and pop, putting the kid to bed, even with formula and milk. And they sleep all night with that stuff on their teeth, I mean that stuff still has sugar in it and its rotting their teeth out. So, what they are trying to do is get more people educated about all these issues, and one way to do that is to mandate that kindergartners get seen first."

Dr. Dingrando says the new law helps ensure children develop healthy habits at an early age; adding that it's heartbreaking to see what happens when they don't.

"When you have that much decay in your mouth you are not learning as well. You're in pain. You're not eating as well so you don't get nutrition, and then there's the self-esteem issue about it. I mean, there are a lot of kids that have that much decay and they won't smile at all because they're really embarrassed about their teeth. So that's a big reason to really push and get more education out. Because, baby teeth are important. They do hurt, and they are affecting how a child is developing."

The College of Dentistry's final free back to school clinic takes place this Saturday from ten to noon at Duncan Park on North Limestone Street. It is open to any child entering kindergarten this fall.