FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County is offering free dental care for uninsured children.

Wednesday, the county opened their third Regional Smiles dental clinic inside the Southern Regional Center in Fuquay-Varina.

They “cut the floss” at their grand opening.

The clinic offers free dental exams, teeth cleanings, x-rays and fluoride to those under 20 who don’t have insurance.

It offers monthly dental appointments as part of the county’s program designed to help increase healthcare access to underserved areas in the community.

The program has helped more than 5,200 children since it started in 2017.

“October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and what better way to celebrate than to expand access to this vital program to yet another one of our Wake County Regional Centers, giving parents and caregivers easy options for their children’s dental health,” said Susan Evans, vice chair, Wake County Board of Commissioners.

“Poor oral health is associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, so teaching kids the importance of taking care of their smiles while they are young, as well as providing the necessary access to care, we can ensure they are on the right track for a healthy lifestyle when they grow up,” she said.

“Dental check-ups for children are crucial for maintaining their oral health and regular visits help in the early detection and prevention of dental issues, ensuring that kids have healthy teeth and gums as they grow,” said Wake County Dental Director Dr. Rebecca Sykes. “These check-ups also establish good oral hygiene habits that can last a lifetime.”

There are two other clinics in Raleigh and Wake Forest that are also open. 

The county is looking to open another clinic in Zebulon.

Regional Smiles is available by appointment only. Visits can be scheduled by calling 919-250-4610 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.