In an effort to improve access to dental care in underserved communities, AltaMed Health Services will participate in American Dental Association (ADA) national initiative "Give Kids A Smile (GKAS)," on Friday, February 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. its AltaMed Medical and Dental Group, located at 8627 Atlantic Ave, South Gate, CA 90280. Each child who attends the event will receive free preventive dental services and a free toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. Each year, more than 350,000 children benefit from this nationwide event.
Tooth decay is the most common preventable chronic health disease in children. In California, more than 40 percent of children have already experienced dental decay by the time they enter kindergarten. If left untreated, tooth decay can negatively affect how children eat, sleep and how well they function at home and in school.
"Dental health is largely neglected among the underinsured population," says Lilia Fuentes, DDS, Associate Director, Dental at AltaMed Health Services. "Parents who are underinsured often wait until there is an urgent need before taking their child to see a dentist. The ADA's nationwide initiative "Give Kids A Smile" program will help AltaMed expand its public health outreach to educate families on the benefits of good dental hygiene and access to resources in their community."
Since GKAS launched in 2003, more than 5.5 million children have been treated by more than half a million volunteers. GKAS events are intended as touch points for children who do not receive dental care. The ultimate goal is to establish a dental home for these children and continuity of care, according to the ADA Foundation.
AltaMed has delivered quality care without exception to the underserved communities of Southern California for more than 40 years with 47 locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Additional AltaMed locations participating in the GKAS initiative include:
AltaMed Medical and Dental Group - East Los Angeles, 1st Street
2219 East 1st St.,
Los Angeles, CA 90033
AltaMed Medical & Dental Group - El Monte
10418 Valley Blvd., Ste B,
El Monte, CA 91731
AltaMed Medical and Dental Group - Boyle Heights
3945 Whittier Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90023
AltaMed Medical and Dental Group - West Covina
1300 Sunset Ave.,
West Covina, CA 91790