Local dental clinic offers free service to children

Updated: May. 21, 2017 at 5:40 PM CDT
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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A local dental clinic is giving back to the community in a big way by making sure all children have healthy oral hygiene. Kool Smiles Dentistry Clinic offered free services Sunday to dozens of kids under the age of 18.

For some parents, the free services were a helpful option during some hard times.

"My daughters, they recently lost their insurance coverage and dental insurance coverage," said one of the parents, Angelica Palacils.

Because of the free clinic, all three of Palacils' children were able to be seen by a dentist and treated for any oral issues they had.

"I'm really glad that they have this free dental visit for my girls," said Palacils.

She's not the only one. Dozens of people showed up with their children Sunday morning to get help, as well. It's all part of an annual program that's been going on for years.

"They give this day every year so that we can give back to our community, the people we believe in, and help them get the treatment that they need," said Kool Smiles office manager, Joann Nesmith. "And that's our whole reason for being here."

The dentists who volunteer their time at the free clinic say it's all about helping people.

"We'll do any fillings, any extractions, any emergency care that they may need on this one day," said Dr. Tanika Hale.

But just because the free services are limited to just one day, that doesn't mean that the staff at Kool Smiles don't want to lend a helping hand year round.

"We also want to continue on with their treatment," said Dr. Hale. "So we'll provide literature and direct them to the appropriate resources so that they may get insurance in the future."

"It'd be great if we can do it more than once a year," said Nesmith. "I know that we have the staff and dentists with the heart and ability to do it so that's what we're hoping for."

Kool Smiles says they are hopeful that the annual Sharing Smiles Day will continue next year.

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