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Improving smiles: Mobile clinic offers free dental services in Norfolk

Doctors and hygienists with the KARE Dentistry clinic traveled hundreds of miles to offer free dental services in Norfolk on Sunday.

NORFOLK, Va. — Going to the dentist can be scary, especially for those who may have never scheduled an appointment in their entire life. 

That's why KARE Dentistry made it a little bit easier, by bringing the services directly to them.

"We do oral health screenings, oral cancer screenings, I check the teeth just to make sure that everything is okay everything," Dr. Whitney James said, a Clinical Dental Director with KARE. 

Minus the laughing gas, the doctors and hygienists with KARE Dentistry were able to do much of the same things that can be done in a dentist's office. 

They offer their services through a van that is brought to places all across the country, including Norfolk on Sunday. 

There was also music, gift bags and dancing tubes of toothpaste to keep the mood inviting, as dozens of people had their teeth checked for free in a Family Dollar parking lot. 

Some people had not been to a dentist in years.

"They helped me out a lot," one man said. "I broke my jaw before, and they helped me with my teeth and told me what I need to do."

In many cases, these screenings can often point to smaller issues that can become bigger issues down the road. It can be a wake-up call for Virginians to consider their own oral hygiene. 

"Especially for parents who might see the front of the children's teeth but maybe not in the back. It's giving us a bit of a talking point to be like, 'Listen I know they are not complaining or in pain right now, but this really needs to be taken care of right away,'" James said.

Professional help then could direct those who were screened to any future help they may need. 

Crest and Oral-B partnered together with KARE Dentistry clinic to make this possible. A spokesperson said they look forward to offering their services next year.

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