Panama City - An estimated one in five American children goes without dental care each year. Two thirds of states do not have effective policies in place to ensure proper dental health and access to care.
Gulf Coast Community College's dental hygiene program is trying to change those numbers, hosting a free “Kidz Clinic" this week, in honor of National Children's Dental Health month.
The clinic provides free exams, cleaning's, x-rays, instruction on proper brushing and flossing techniques for children ages 3 to 12.
Clinic officials expect to see around 100 kids this week.
"This is something that there's no excuses. The children come first, and we want to provide that care, so yes ma'am, it's absolutely free," said Melani Rochford.
Brenda Liles heard about the free dental care from co-workers and decided to bring her three children to the clinic Monday morning. The staff saw all three of her children at once.
"Here having them all go in at the same time, and being able to go back and forth is definitely a plus, and the free thing is always going to be great when you have three kids, and it's always going to be cost effective to go to a free clinic," said Liles.
Liles' 10 year old daughter Mackenzie couldn't agree more.
"I like that all of the rooms are close together, so I can hear my brother in the next room," she enthused.
If you want to make an appointment, you can call Gulf Coast Dental Clinic at 872-3833.