CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A healthy smile starts with proper dental care and while tooth decay is preventable, not everyone has access to quality dental care. Proper and consistent dental hygiene makes tooth decay go away and in Chicopee, a free dental clinic is giving people the tools to do just that.

Mobile dentistry clinic KARE teamed up with Crest and Oral-B to host the clinic at the BJ’s parking lot on Memorial Ave throughout the weekend. This event, being held Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 4, is held to close the smile gap that currently exists all throughout the country.

There are “dental deserts” across the country, even right here in Western Massachusetts, which are areas that just don’t have enough dentists to provide oral care. Part of KARE’s mission is to travel to those types of areas and give families dental care options. The clinic in Chicopee primarily focuses on the dental care of children, though adults are welcome to get a free screening as well.

Stacy Sanders, a Dental Hygienist at KARE said, “These are just shoppers like you and I who are walking past who say, ‘oh yeah, I have wondered about my tooth’ or ‘I did have some pain recently I want to ask a question.’ And then you never know where that can lead and so patients and people walking by can get information, and they get their free goodie bag.”

“We’re honored to be here today to do oral screenings, provide education for people in the community, give referrals for those that would like to have a dentist in the area, that might be underinsured, because they’re on Medicaid or don’t have insurance at all,” expressed Dr. Kwane Watson, CEO for KARE.

Closing the smile gap leaves patients walking away with happier, healthier smiles.