Home Aesthetic Dentistry Two Million Children Benefit From Free Dental Screenings

Two Million Children Benefit From Free Dental Screenings

by adminjay

Each year, millions of children in the United States, including up to half of those with state-funded dental insurance plans, don’t receive the dental treatment they need to be healthy. Children from low-income homes, rural communities, racial minorities, and those with limited English proficiency face many barriers to the dental care they need to thrive.

Staff from Sonrisas, a nonprofit dental clinic located in SanMateo, CA, provide a dental screening for a young girl at a community screening event. As members of the Dental Resource Program of America’s ToothFairy, the clinic receives donated dental supplies and equipment, educational materials, and access to grants to help more children in underserved communities access the dental services they need to be healthy.

Screening events at schools and community events are an effective way to identify children with acute oral health needs and connect them with a dental care provider that can address the unique barriers that keep kids from having a healthy smile.

Since America’s ToothFairy was founded in 2006, the nonprofit organization has helped more than two million children and teens receive oral health screenings by supporting safety-net dental clinics through their National Screening Initiative, with financial support from Septodont.

“When our program members have the support they need to identify dental needs in earlier stages, everyone benefits,” said Jill Malmgren, executive director of America’s ToothFairy. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to increasing access to oral health care for children in need and works with corporate donors from around the globe to help safety-net dental clinics extend services to more children in need.

“The children our members serve often fall through the cracks because their parents are either unaware that early treatment of dental disease is cheaper or that they can receive help at reduced rates and sometimes for free,” she added. “Catching problems early also frees up resources for the clinics to treat more children and reduces strain on the state-funded programs that are designed to help low-income families.”

Screenings serve as a gateway to dental care for low-income families.‍

When four-year-old Olivia* was screened at a public Head Start preschool in San Mateo County, California, she told the team from Sonrisas Dental Health that she had never been to a dentist. The screening team noted that she had generalized decalcification of her teeth, generalized dentin-enamel fractures, and possible dental cavities on at least nine teeth. Sonrisas’ Care Coordinator learned that Olivia’s mother had been having an extremely difficult time finding a dentist but had still been trying in order to ease her daughter’s pain. She was overcome with joy when she learned that Olivia could be seen at Sonrisas the very next day. Since then, Olivia has completed several dental visits, putting her on track to reach optimal health and enjoy a pain-free smile.

“Some children face great challenges in accessing care,” Sonrisas’ CEO, Tracey Carrillo Fecher, said. “Many families must make impossible choices between accessing dental care and meeting other basic needs, such as food, rent, or medication. Sonrisas creates access to oral health care by performing dental screenings in low-income public schools and making oral health care financially accessible for families.”

Sonrisas’ Community Care Coordinator also spends time with caregivers discussing the findings and assists them in navigating the public insurance system, providing a concierge-like service in multiple languages. Sonrisas is one of 51 nonprofit partners of America’s ToothFairy that serve children in 22 states across the United States.

“Our program members are uniquely equipped to address the barriers to care that other dental offices cannot,” Malmgren added. “As the Title Sponsors of our National Screening Initiative, Septodont helped our members provide more than 125,000 dental screenings last year alone at schools and other locations that serve at-risk kids.”

“We believe everyone—especially children—should have access to dental care,” said Paul Mondock, President, Septodont Americas. “We are proud to be a long-standing partner of America’s ToothFairy and help nonprofit dental clinics be the gateway to dental care for millions of youth in vulnerable communities.”

About America’s ToothFairy: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation

As a resource provider, America’s ToothFairy increases access to oral health care by supporting nonprofit clinics and community partners delivering education, prevention, and treatment services for underserved children.

Since its inception in 2006, America’s ToothFairy has distributed more than $25 million in donated products, educational materials, and financial grants to improve oral health outcomes for children and youth in need.

For more information, visit AmericasToothFairy.org.

About Septodont

Since 1932, Septodont’s broad product range has provided the dental community with the most reliable and efficient solutions to their operatory challenges. Septodont’s unrelenting commitment to quality, innovation, and service has earned it worldwide recognition as a market leader in pain management and regeneration products.

Today, hundreds of thousands of dentists in more than 150 countries rely on Septodont’s dental products.

To find out more about Septodont, visit www.septodontusa.com.

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