Kids Smiles grant

Sept. 16, 2011
Grant to support Fall for Smiles campaign.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania--Kids Smiles nonprofit children’s dental organization has been awarded a $25,000 Smiles Across America grant to expand dental outreach services to children in the Philadelphia and Washington, DC, areas by the national nonprofit organization Oral Health America.

Oral Health America provides resources in the form of grants, donated dental product, and marketing support to nonprofit health-based organizations across the country that focus on school-based or school-linked dental services, education, and advocacy.

OHA's current initiative, Fall for Smiles, promotes the importance of self-care, regular dental visits, healthy food choices, and tobacco avoidance as part of maintaining a healthy mouth and body. The goals of this initiative, which launched Sept. 1, 2011, mirror Kids Smiles Oral Health curriculum, and will be featured on the Kids Smiles website, Facebook page, and Twitter updates during the campaign.

Tooth decay is the No. 1 chronic disease among U.S. children, five times more prevalent than asthma. This is a staggering fact considering that tooth decay is almost completely preventable with proper dental healthcare, regular visits to the dentist, and proper nutrition.

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In addition, a recent assessment conducted by the Pew Center on the States reports 23 states received a grade of C or lower in ensuring dental health and access to care for disadvantaged children. Pennsylvania’s grade was a D.

Kids Smiles, a nonprofit children’s dental organization, has been working to improve these statistics by providing dental health care and education to inner-city children for 10 years.

“Offering a child-friendly, stable dental home and health education in underserved communities is essential to treating dental disease and, just as importantly, creating healthy personal habits,” said Cheryl Janssen, Kids Smiles’ CEO and executive director.

“Treatment, without prevention, will not improve dental health on a long-term basis. Oral Health America’s grant enables us to serve even more children and its Fall for Smiles campaign will help to raise awareness about dental disease.”

An integral part of the Kids Smiles mission lies in the Education Outreach Program through which dental screenings, dental and overall health education, and preventive services are provided to area schools and community partners throughout Philadelphia and Washington.

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