Brewers host free dental clinic for hundreds of kids in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --- There's a high demand for pediatric dental care in Wisconsin. To help ease the burden, the Milwaukee Brewers are partnering up to bring smiles to kids' faces.
A dental clinic was held at American Family Field Thursday, June 30. Three hundred kids from The Boys and Girls Club received free dental services.
The Brewers Community Foundation, Delta Dental, and Team Smile are partnering to make this possible and kids are getting more than just dental screenings and cleanings.
John McCarthy, Executive Director for Team Smile, says the clinic provided all the access that a traditional dental office does.
"We also fill cavities and do root canals and extract teeth right here on site so for the most part what you can do in a dental office we do right here at American Family Field in Milwaukee, so we're thrilled to help out the children," said McCarthy.
Team Smile has been partnering with the Brewers for more than a decade but this year is especially significant because for many, dental care has been neglected during the pandemic.
"If a child now hasn’t gone to the dentist that had been going for a couple years, obviously that's not going to help their teeth and so the dentists are often seeing more decay and more challenges," said McCarthy.
With an ongoing shortage of dentists, there are thousands of kids waiting for appointments and even more whose families cannot afford access to care, according to the Wisconsin Dental Association.
With more than 100 volunteers, Thursday's event gave the care needed for kids of all ages, while also making things fun. Volunteers recognized that for many kids, going to the dentist can be scary, so there was music and games to relax all the children as they arrived.
"It's really rewarding and a wonderful feeling inside to know that you made a difference in the life of a child," said McCarthy.