This post was sponsored by Give Kids A Smile as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Oral Hygiene Services give Kids Something to Smile About
The last few decades have seen a major improvement in dental technology, and yet there are millions of children who suffer from various dental problems who don’t get the dental care they require.
Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) is part of the American Dental Association’s Action for Dental Health. This is a community-based movement to end the dental health crisis among children from low-income families in the United States. This movement is designed to address these dental health issues by providing dental assistance to children battling with untreated disease, but also to expand public awareness and to bring dental care knowledge into communities.
Taking an Active Role
I’ve wanted to have a share in helping others, and as a dental hygienist who knows that most oral health diseases are preventable, it’s been a privilege for me to work with GKAS and also reach out to children who don’t have access to dental care. I’ve felt inspired being part of a team and knowing that the advice and tips we’ve given has been invaluable in simply giving kids the encouragement and support they need to continue with basic dental care. I remember last year presenting one elementary school in New Jersey with a fun program on oral health, handing out toothbrushes and toothpaste and generally having loads of fun while we got the message of oral hygiene across.
Poor oral hygiene, lack of fluoride and poor dietary patterns all play a role in tooth decay and it is also evident that some children have a higher than usual risk of developing dental caries. Don’t for one minute think that sugar is the sole culprit for dental problems – the answer to healthy teeth lies in taking proper care of them, and yet there are many children who don’t have a toothbrush – who haven’t been taught how to use a good toothbrush to reach into all areas of the mouth.
No-One should Suffer with Tooth- and Gum Disease
Medicaid, a health care program, may well provide health coverage to millions of low-income Americans, but negative experiences with the dental care system means dental services for Medicaid-insured children isn’t happening.
Eligibility is mostly calculated by income, but The Affordable Care Act of 2010 expanded the eligibility criteria for Medicaid, but there are still barriers to dental care, and children between the ages of 2 and 11 continue to suffer with tooth decay.
Thank goodness for GKAS who believes that not a single American child should ever suffer with tooth or gum disease.
Sunny Smiles Again – No charges to Under-served Children
The Give Kids a Smile program was started by the American Dental Association, a leading advocate for oral health, in 2003. The idea was to allow ADA members to provide under-served children with access to free, quality dental care, and what started out as a one day event during the year has expanded in leaps and bounds to all 50 states, so that nearly 6 million under-served children can benefit from excellent dental care services.
This events are designed to educate and build awareness about children’s oral health, while at the same time raising money to help the ‘Give Kids a Smile’ program. The various activities in all different states highlight the ongoing challenges that disadvantaged children face in accessing decent dental care.
Dental Treatment from the Cream of the Crop
The events are run on donations and volunteer efforts, providing excellent dental care to children who would never otherwise have access to dental help. Some half a million volunteers – made up of dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants- and technicians, school nurses, community health professionals and others all give up their time, their skills and enthusiasm to provide oral health services.
They all agree that regular brushing and flossing are essential for maximum dental health. The dental services extended to the children includes fillings, sealants and extractions as well as information on how to keep teeth and gums healthy by brushing every day.
February is always National Children’s Dental Health Month, and there are many dental health consultants who want to help businesses join in with helping to educate families in the community about the need for better dental health.
These consultant will help your office create a custom Children’s Dental Health Month campaign which could include community involvements, school field trips, special offers or other ideas to host a successful Give Kids A Smile day at your office. You can advertise the event on TV, in fliers and on social media to raise awareness of the epidemic of untreated dental disease across the country.
Drawing Attention to All-Round Dental Health
If you want to be part of oral hygiene services for under-served children, Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) is a much need multi-racial facility creating nationwide awareness of dental health. Young children in particular can benefit from dental care and also receive free educational material.
Give Kids A Smile celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2017, and the ADA Foundation invites you to join them in marking this milestone. To sign up and join the movement to bring disease prevention and education into communities, and also draw attention to your company, why not visit the Mouth Healthy Website for more information.
You can also visit their Facebook page for more information, don’t forget to like and share!
Image Courtesy: Give Kids A Smile Day, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Davie, Fla., February 5, 2016. Photo credit: ADA Foundation.