The Webster County Health Department is working this summer to help area children receive dental treatments they may not otherwise have access to.
Dental hygienists with the health department are offering free dental sealant clinics for children through the I-Smile program.
The clinics will be held July 8, July 18, July 25 and Aug. 7 at the Webster County Health Department offices, located in the lower level of the Northwest Bank Building, 723 First Ave. S. Times are available at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., and 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.
"We try to allow up to an hour for each child," said Angie Halfwassen, Webster County I-Smile coordinator. "We have a portable unit right in our office that we use in the schools we cover during the school year."
Halfwassen said this is the first summer the program has been offered and appointments are filling up fast.
"We are glad to see that people are taking advantage of this," she said. "Right now, we only have eight openings left."
Any child aged 6 to 18 is eligible for the free sealant program. Halfwassen encourages families with no regular dental home or insurance to make an appointment.
"We can help these kids get Hawk-I or Medicaid if they are eligible," she said.
During the clinics, hygienists will apply a clear plastic coating to protect the surface of the teeth.
"We place the sealant over the top of the rough surface of the teeth," said Halfwassen. "It helps keep the surface smooth and easier to clean."
Sealant is recommended for any child with healthy teeth.
"We recommend it to help keep the teeth clean," Halfwassen said. "Most kids will benefit from sealant as long as there are already no fillings or crowns on the teeth that are treated."
To make an appointment for an upcoming clinic, contact Halfwassen at 574-3815.