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Two Kandiyohi County clinics provide free dental care during annual Give Kids a Smile event

Free dental care was provided to local children in need despite COVID-19 obstacles during the annual Give Kids a Smile charity event on Friday in Willmar and Spicer.

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Dental Assistant Sara Enderle, left, and Student Dentist Abigail Askegaard provide dental care to Allan Posadas, 9, Friday at Carris Health Dental Clinic in Willmar during the Give Kids a Smile event that provides free dental care to children in need. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — Giving back to the community is something worth smiling about. The Carris Health Dental Clinic in Willmar and Green Lake Dental in Spicer participated in the American Dental Association's Give Kids a Smile charity event Friday.

About 1,000 dentists across the state of Minnesota participated in the event, which provides free dental care to local children in need.

The Carris Health Dental Clinic had to scale back its event significantly as a COVID-19 safety precaution.

Linda Jackson, dental director at the clinic, said that in previous years, they would typically provide care for about 60 to 80 children and this year they are seeing about 25.

When making the decision on whether the Willmar clinic should participate this year due to the pandemic, their dental care team ultimately felt it was necessary.

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"Some of these children have not been to a dentist and this is their first time," Jackson said. "We felt having this event is very important to the community because there is still a lot of lack of access to dental care."

Related Topics: WILLMARMINNESOTA
Erica Dischino is a photojournalist for the West Central Tribune and Forum News Service. She grew up in northern New Jersey and has lived in the Midwest since 2017. She enjoys photographing the stories of west central Minnesota from county fairs, parades and pandemics. Feel free to contact her at edischino@wctrib.com or 320-894-8865 with your best photo ideas.
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