In an effort to help reach a number of children who do not have dental insurance or whose families cannot afford to pay for dental care, a group of Oregon dentists and hygienists are traveling around the state.
As part of the Tooth Taxi initiative, these dental professionals are providing dental checkups, teeth cleanings, extractions and other services that are desperately needed by low-income kids.
Several other states offer similar programs, which seek to narrow the gap between those who have dental insurance or can afford to pay for dental care - and those who cannot.
"A lot of the kids we see haven't been to the dentist before and don't know what to expect," Tooth Taxi program manager Mary Daly told the news provider.
"Our goal is to make them as comfortable as possible and make sure they have a positive experience."
According to the World Health Organization, tooth decay is the most common preventable disease among children nationwide. The American Dental Association recommends that kids begin having regular dental checkups around their first birthday, to help protect their dental health.
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