BOSTON — Procter & Gamble and its Crest and Oral-B brands have announced grants totaling $750,000 to fund major new initiatives to improve the dental health of underserved Massachusetts children.
The grants will support expanded preventive dental services at Boston Medical Center's (BMC) Pediatric Dental Clinic and will fund a Crest/Oral-B mobile dental van operated by the Massachusetts Dental Society.
The announcement was made by P&G Chairman, President and Chief Executive A.G. Lafley during a press conference at Boston Medical Center.
Lafley was joined by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Boston Medical Center President and CEO Elaine Ullian, and Massachusetts Dental Society President Dr. Robert Faiella.
"P&G, and our Crest and Oral-B brands, are proud to make these grants to improve the quality of children's lives in the Boston area and throughout Massachusetts," Mr. Lafley said.
"We are excited to be working with Boston Medical Center, the BU School of Dental Medicine, and the Massachusetts Dental Society on such an important community health care need, and we look forward to this partnership contributing to the health and well-being of local children, particularly those from underserved communities."
The grants were made as part of P&G's "Live, Learn and Thrive" corporate philanthropy program, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children in need around the world, and the Crest Healthy Smiles program which helps deliver preventive dentistry to underserved children.
A 2003 survey of BMC dental patients revealed that more than 40% had had a dental emergency during the previous year that had gone untreated due to inability to afford proper care.
Additionally, a 2004 study by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that 28% of third-graders in the state have untreated tooth decay.
"I am delighted with this great collaboration between P&G, BMC, BU Dental School and the Mass. Dental Society," said Mayor Menino. "This is tangible evidence of P&G's commitment to the Boston community, and the benefits of bringing together P&G and Gillette, and their outstanding brands. Through this partnership, countless children will receive important and high quality dental care."
Over the next three years, P&G will donate $500,000 to the Pediatric Dental Clinic at Boston Medical Center, which is operated in collaboration with the BU School of Dental Medicine. The grant will allow the clinic to launch a program of preventive dental care services for 2,000 to 3,000 low-income, at-risk children each year.
By detecting and preventing tooth decay early in a child's life, the program will dramatically reduce the occurrence of dental disease in the community.
"Access to dental care for children is a major pressing health care issue for our communities – especially within many underserved populations. These grants are a giant step in the right direction. With partners like P&G and its Crest and Oral-B brands, we will make a positive impact on the dental health of our children and community," said BMC President and CEO Elaine Ullian.
P&G's Crest and Oral-B brands will donate $250,000 to the Massachusetts Dental Society for a mobile dental care van, which will provide services that are focused on underserved children in cities and towns throughout Massachusetts.
The van will be staffed by a dentist, a dental hygienist, and a dental assistant/driver coordinator, as part of the Crest Healthy Smiles program. Since its inception in 2000, Crest Healthy Smiles has worked to bring children low- or no-cost dental care, access to dental professionals, oral health education and toothbrushes and toothpaste.
"We are grateful for the vision and commitment demonstrated by Procter & Gamble, enabling us to bring much-needed preventive care to communities across the Commonwealth. This generous grant will make a significant difference in the oral health of our children in need," said Dr. Robert Faiella, president of the Massachusetts Dental Society.