Frequently Asked Questions

Why is dental care necessary for children who still have baby teeth?

Baby teeth will fall out and get replaced by adult teeth, but it is still important to keep them healthy. Tooth decay is painful and can affect how a child looks, acts and learns. Infection from decayed baby teeth can spread to other parts of a child's body and cause health problems. Decay and infection in baby teeth can also cause damage to developing permanent teeth. The American Dental Association recommends that children should begin regular dental checkups by 1 year of age. Children should visit a pediatric dentist for a cleaning and exam every six months.

Can any school or day care request a visit from Rainbow’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile?

The mission of Rainbow’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is to provide needed dental care for children without a regular dentist who would not otherwise receive this care, so our focus is on providing care for kids from low-income families. To qualify for a visit from Rainbow’s Care Mobile, you must be one of the following:

  • A day care center or preschool with a Head Start designation
  • A school serving children aged 12 or younger in which 50 percent or more of students qualify for free or reduced cost lunch
  • A social service agency that can demonstrate service to a socioeconomically disadvantaged population of children aged 4 to 12 at risk of health issues.
Will Rainbow’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile return every six months to provide ongoing dental care?

The services provided on board Rainbow’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile do NOT replace regular visits to a dentist’s office. Rather, a young patient’s visit to the Care Mobile is a first step in establishing a regular pattern of dental care for underserved children. None of the patients seen on Rainbow’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile have received regular dental cleanings and many have never been to a dentist before. Our goal is to provide a thorough cleaning and screening and stabilize any immediate problems. We then work to help connect families with a dental home where they can establish a health care relationship and receive ongoing dental care. We provide families with information on how to find a dentist or dental practice in their area that accepts Medicaid. Families can also receive ongoing routine care and specialized care from Rainbow’s Irving and Jeanne Tapper Dental Center or the Case Western Reserve Dental School.

Is there a cost for the services provided by Rainbow’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile?

There is no cost to a school or day care to bring the Care Mobile to your site. When families provide valid insurance information, insurers will be billed for services provided and families will not be charged a co-pay. Families who do not provide insurance information will be charged for services on a sliding fee scale, with payment due at the time of service. However, since all low-income children qualify for dental services under Ohio Medicaid, we can help connect families with dental insurers. Families of children who do not have insurance can apply by calling the University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Financial Counselor at 216-983-1500, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

If a family has a regular dentist, can a child still get a dental cleaning on the Care Mobile?

No. The Care Mobile provides dental care for children who have not seen a dentist in the past year and do not have a regular dentist. If a child has a dentist, they should visit for a cleaning every six months and see that dentist if they have any problems or pain. We do not want to get in the way of a child's relationship with a dentist or interrupt children’s care plans.

How do I bring Rainbow’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile to my community?

To learn more about bringing Rainbow’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile to your community, call 216-844-3084.

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