MECHANIC FALLS – The Rice Pediatric Dental Clinic opened its doors in November. The day was set aside to provide treatment to Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care children and their siblings.

Dr. David Wicks, a dentist who has been active in the public health dental community, performed examinations and coordinated plans of care for several Head Start families. Town Manager Dana Lee was on hand to welcome the practice to the community.

The space and equipment was donated by Dr. John Rice, DDS, a long-term dental health provider in the area. When Rice retired, he offered his practice to any provider willing to continue care for families with Maine Care Insurance. Jack Fuller, director of Maine Oral Health Solutions, stepped up to the plate and took over the space.

Maine Oral Health Solutions provides dental care for families who are on Maine Care or who are living within the poverty level and uninsured.

Maine Oral Health Solutions practice includes the Garcelon Pediatric Dental Clinic in Augusta as well as an extensive network of registered hygienists who provide dental cleanings and fluorite treatments in classroom settings.

Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care children are receiving dental care through the Early Smiles program, which is a part of Maine Oral Health Solutions.

A second day of dental work for Androscoggin Head Start and Child Care families was held Dec. 17. Maine Oral Health Solutions is hoping to open the clinic to the public at the beginning of 2005.

Head Start programs are free to eligible children and full-day child care services are available on a sliding fee scale for parents who are working, in school or participating in job training. Applications for all programs are accepted throughout the year. Call 795-4040, ext. 25, for more information or to set up an appointment to meet with the enrollment coordinator.

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