Gift of Life CAN to Provide Mobile Dental Clinics in Two Schools
MONTGOMERY, AL- Gift of Life Foundation’s Community Action Network (GOL CAN) will host mobile dental clinics at Seth Johnson Elementary on March 8 and Highland Gardens Elementary on March 22. The activity is part of an outreach project to teach children the importance of maintaining good oral health and to educate parents on the dental benefit provided by Medicaid.
Toothbuds, a Medicaid dental provider, will screen students, a representative from Medicaid will inform parents about routine procedures covered by the Medicaid Dental Program, and local dentists will speak to classes about oral health.
“Gift of Life’s mission is to reduce Montgomery County’s high infant mortality rate, but we recognize that doing so requires an integrated approach to health which begins before a woman ever becomes pregnant,” said GOL Executive Director Cheryl Davis.
“We educate our moms on the importance of maintaining good oral health before and during pregnancy, but we also wanted to extend that message out to the community through our Community Action Network that babies and young children need regular preventive dental services to stay healthy, too. There are families that may not be aware that Medicaid covers dental check-ups or cleanings for children, so the benefit is underused. This is a concern our CAN wanted to address. We wanted to partner to reach families who aren’t using these services,” she said.
According to Alabama Medicaid, the agency pays for routine dental care for children under age 21 as long as the child is eligible for full Medicaid. Most children are no longer eligible after their 19th birthday unless they are eligible for another category. Dental services must be provided by a licensed dentist enrolled as a Medicaid dental provider. Coverage includes a dental checkup, cleaning, crown, extractions, fluoride treatments, fillings and other services.
The first mobile dental clinic will be held at Seth Johnson Elementary on March 8, from 8:30-9:45 a.m. A second one will be held at Highland Gardens on March 22. About 80 students will be served at each school. Local dentist Dr. David M. Cawley, D.D.S of Dental Concepts, will provide education.