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McDonald's stages free dental care event
Updated: 12/9/2009 4:59:34 PM

McDonald Many children in Arkansas aren't receiving the dental care they need, so McDonald's has decided to organize several days of free treatment in two of the state's counties.

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, a project organized under the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkoma, will travel to 19 elementary schools in the counties of Benton and Washington. The schools the mobile clinic will visit are those that have the highest number of students receiving free and reduced-priced lunches. To be eligible, children must be without a source of dental care.

"Tooth decay is the most widespread of chronic illnesses affecting children ages five through 17," said Scott Gordon, executive vice president of the Arkansas Children's Hospital. "It is five times more prevalent than asthma and seven times more prevalent than hay fever."

While free dental care days can be a good temporary solution for families without coverage, they're an inadequate substitute for regular visits to the dentist; as such events normally serve patients on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning some people often don't receive treatment.

The Mayo Clinic says tooth decay can be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly.

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