10,000 Kids Learn How to Keep Their Smiles Healthy During Back-to-School Outreach
More than 10,000 children living in communities with restricted access to dental care learned how to keep their smiles healthy this fall thanks to “10,000 Smiles Ready to Learn.” Through this education initiative, America’s ToothFairy distributed educational resource kits to nonprofit dental service providers and educators for use during their back-to-school oral health outreach events. The initiative was made possible with financial support from MGE: Management Experts (MGE), and MGE’s dentists’ clients and their teams.
As members of the Dental Resource Program of America’s ToothFairy, these dental clinics receive donated dental supplies and equipment in an effort to increase access to care for children in underserved communities. With such outreach, however, printed oral health materials are often out of reach due to limited budgets. “As a resource provider for safety-net dental clinics, we work to ensure our program members can provide access to care for every child who needs treatment,” notes America’s ToothFairy Executive Director Jill Malmgren. “However, in order to see a decline in the number of children with untreated oral conditions—which is much higher in underprivileged communities—our partners need educational materials to help kids learn how to prevent caries in the first place.”
The education resource kits included crayons and coloring books that promote the daily habits needed to prevent careies, bookmarks with oral health tips in English and Spanish, informational brochures for caregivers, and a basic dental hygiene tool that some children in low-income homes lack—a toothbrush.
“10,000 Smiles Ready to Learn” is an expanded version of America’s ToothFairy’s Smile Guardian education initiative, which offers dental professionals the opportunity to sponsor oral health education kits for members of their local communities.