Connecting Kids to Dental Homes
Kids who have access to a dental home have better dental hygiene habits, lower rates of decay, and are less likely to need urgent or emergency treatment.
Watch this video for more about how our Dental Resource Program connects more kids to a dental home:
Dental homes provide the opportunity for children to transition from associating a dentist as someone you only see when you are in pain to someone who can help you feel better and keep you healthy. It’s a place for parents to call between visits with any questions they have related to their children’s teeth, gums or oral development."
— Cynthia Randazzo, Cass County Dental Clinic, Kansas City, MO
The financial grants and donated products and equipment our members receive through our Dental Resource program help them connect more kids and their families with the routine care providers they need to keep their smiles healthy.
Stacey lives in rural Minnesota with her grandmother, Sue. Her father is in prison and her mother has not been in the picture, due to drug addiction. Since Social Security is her only source of income, Sue was unable to pay for the crown Stacey needed, which was not covered by her state-funded health plan.
Apple Tree Dental, one of our member clinics, applied for an In the Gap grant, which covered the entire cost of the procedure. When their Director, Suzanne Peterson, called Sue to tell her the good news she exclaimed, “Oh my goodness, I have goosebumps! Thank you, thank you!”
“It’s things like this that remind me why I love my job,” Suzanne told us. We feel the same way! Our generous donors not only provided Stacey with much-needed oral health services, but also made her future brighter.
We can’t do this important work without support from organizations like yours! As the number of patients without access to dental care continues to grow, support like yours is critically needed to help provide dental services for the most vulnerable populations."
— Mary Larkin, Apple Tree Dental, Mounds View, MN
National Fluoride Varnish Initiative
Across the United States millions of people lack access to routine dental care. Some must wait a year or more for an appointment because there aren't enough dental providers in their community. Others lack reliable transportation to travel long distances to the nearest dental office. (Learn more about the barriers families face on our blog.)
Each year an average of 2 million people visit hospital emergency departments due to dental pain that is preventable.
Through our National Varnish Initiative, sponsored by 3M Oral Care, kids living with restricted access to dental care can keep their smiles healthy even when they can't visit the dentist as often as they should. Whether through our mobile or school-based partners, or at a safety-net dental office, the fluoride treatments they receive, along with oral health instruction, help them keep their teeth strong and protected from decay.
See how our sponsors help kids across the country protect their smiles from decay:
We are so very grateful for our donors, who help our members expand the number of children that can access the dental services they need to prevent dental disease, pain and suffering, and lost time at school.
Thank you so very much for your generous fluoride varnish donation! This donation significantly impacts our dental outreach efforts, allowing us to offer services to more children. Thank you again for being such a great support...we greatly appreciate it!”
— Kerri Dittrich, Elkhorn Valley Public Health, Wisner, ME
Protecting Smiles Through Education
Education through community outreach is an essential component in the fight against tooth decay. America's ToothFairy has multiple ways to provide kids with the information they need to keep their smiles healthy.
Through our new Smile Guardian Initiative, benefactors equip community educators with Protect Your Smile Resource Kits to educate parents and kids about the importance of healthy dental hygiene habits.
Safe Alliance (pictured right), an organization that serves victims ofdomestic violence in Charlotte, NC, received a kit from their Smile Guardian benefactor, MGE: Management Experts to help the children in their care gain control of their oral health and wellbeing.
SCREEN & CLEAN EVENTS
In addition, a generous donation from MGE helped make eight ToothFairy grants possible so that our members could participate in Screen & Clean events throughout the month of February. These events are crucial to identify kids in need of urgent dental care, connect participants to dental homes, and educate children about how good oral health is essential for a bright future.
We are so pleased to be able to help America’s ToothFairy, a wonderful organization that has made a remarkable difference in the lives of kids in need of dental care and education.”
— Luis Colon, CEO, MGE: Management Experts
Health Education Resources & Outreach
Our Health Education Resources and Outreach Program (HERO), sponsored by Align Technology, mobilizes and equips volunteers to educate their communities about oral health.
Watch our video for highlights from this year:
Through our HERO Program, a group of school nurses from Bismarck Public Schools in North Dakota (pictured, below) received oral health education training from Karey Eisenbarth, RDH. Each was given a ToothFairy 101® Community Education Kit and toothbrushes to help teach students about oral health.
Thank you again for your generous donation of toothbrushes and oral hygiene kits to each of the school nurses at Bismarck Public School’s elementary schools...who will be distributing to children in need, and giving oral hygiene education to them.”
— Karey Eisenbarth, RDH, Community Dental Health Coordinator, Bismark, ND
Virtual Smile Drives Save the Day
Our annual Smile Drive campaign was in full swing when the coronavirus shutdowns brought collections to an abrupt halt. But thanks to volunteers who collected monetary donations online and product donations from several corporate partners, kids in need were still able to receive dental hygiene supplies to help keep them healthy. (Read the full story.)
Even in the midst of a pandemic, more than 81,500 oral care products were collected for kids in need as well as 74 dental clinics and nonprofit organizations serving kids!
Your donation continues our mission to give every child, regardless of their family's income, access to free dental care services. We learned that nine toothbrushes are six feet long as we continue to social distance and maintain extremely high safety standards for our staff and patients."
— Doug Anderson, LevelUp Kids, Kansas City, MO