CHICAGO, Illinois--Smiles Across America, an Oral Health America program--in conjunction with Trident gum--has welcomed the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas to the SAA network. This is part of an ongoing commitment by Oral Health America and Trident to help fight tooth decay among nation's youth.With the help of a $1.5 million, three-year commitment by Trident to the SAA program, Oral Health America supports dental services to more than 350,000 children annually in underserved communities nationwide. Together with a network of community partners, SAA and Trident are working to address the need for school-based and school-linked oral disease prevention services.Please help OHA spread the wordTooth decay in children is one of the most prevalent health-care issues, yet more than eight in 10 (84%) American parents don't realize this. In addition, 17% of parents that were recently surveyed reported that they had a child that missed at least one day of school due to dental related pain or illness. With the help of Trident, SAA has expanded reach to Pittsburg, Kan. Community leaders joined Trident and SAA to bring attention to the importance of oral health for children living in Pittsburg and nationwide.With the new partnership, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas will bring their school-based preventive services program to the schools in Crawford and Cherokee counties. The financial commitment of Trident is key to Oral Health America's expansion of services to dental programs in need of SAA funding, such as CHCSEK."We are very excited to welcome the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas into the SAA family of care providers," said Beth Truett, president and CEO of Oral Health America. "By working in collaboration with CHCSEK, we can raise public awareness about the importance of oral care for good overall health, and proactively provide education and services in schools to prevent tooth decay for underserved children."Each year, more than 51 million schools hours are lost as a result of problems related to tooth decay. Trident contributions help SAA link local government, businesses and supporters with care providers and schools to help fight untreated oral disease in children and prevent the loss of pivotal hours in the classroom."Trident is extremely supportive of this program and excited that the SAA funding ultimately sheds light on the importance of oral health care in underserved communities," said Maurice Herrera, senior director, Trident. "It is great to know the SAA funding will help the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas grow its services to more children in other communities."Thanks to contributions from supporters like Trident, SAA provides its network with funding and technical assistance in the areas of communications and coalition building, enabling the network to reach more underserved and uninsured children and address barriers to care--lack of resources and transportation, low literacy and language diversity. For more informaiton, visit www.oralhealthamerica.org.To comment on this subject, go to community.pennwelldentalgroup.com/.