Lansing Community College's Dental Hygiene Clinic is one of many around the country participating in Give Kids a Smile Day. Many oral health care experts say those who do not have good oral health do not have good overall health.
130 kids showed up to the event at LCC. The event is funded by national grants. Several local dentists, dental hygienists and dental hygiene students provided their time and assistance.
Carol Wood, the chair of the Oral Health Task Force of the Capital Area Health Alliance says it's time lawmakers see oral health as a necessity and not a luxury.
"We might keep our vision coverage or prescription coverage when we're negotiating our medical insurance packages, but the first thing we cut is dental coverage because we as a society don't understand the importance."
"Many kids don't see a dentist until they're in extreme pain and in the emergency room, " said Dr. Sheila Semler, LCC Dental Hygiene Program Director.
Emergency department officials at Ingham Regional Medical Center and Sparrow Hospital say approximately 2-3 patients come in daily due to dental pain, all as a result of ignoring the recommended six month checkup.
"Pain killers and medications aren't the answer and unfortunately that's what the emergency room is limited to do," said Dr. Brad Eschler.
Clinics participating in Give Kids a Smile Day will do follow-up care for their patients as scheduled in 6 months.