Trident, Smiles Across America team up

Aug. 18, 2010
Trident’s $1.5 million contribution helps connect Columbia St. Mary’s Smart Smile Program to the Smiles Across America family.

PARSIPPANY, New Jersey--Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in America, yet more than eight in 10 (84%) American parents don't realize this.

Smiles Across America, an Oral Health America program led in conjunction with Trident gum, has welcomed Milwaukee-based Smart Smiles into the SAA network. This effort is part of an ongoing commitment by Oral Health America and Trident to help fight cavities among this nation’s youth. Together, the two will work to address the need for school-based and school-lined oral disease prevention services in the Milwaukee area.

With the help of Trident’s $1.5 million dollar, three-year commitment to the SAA program, the organization supports dental services to more than 250,000 children annually in underserved communities nationwide. With the help of Trident’s contribution, the program will expand its reach to Milwaukee.

With the new partnership, Columbia St. Mary’s Smart Smiles Program will increase the number of children it sees helped by hiring a part-time oral health advocate who will be responsible for recruitment efforts at participating Smart Smiles schools with the goal of 50% participation at each school.

Community leaders have joined Trident, SAA, Smart Smiles, and Milwaukee partners to bring attention to the importance of healthy mouths for children living in Milwaukee and nationwide. Trident’s financial commitment is key to Oral Health America’s expansion of services to dental programs in need of SAA-funding such as Smart Smiles.

“We are very pleased to welcome Columbia St. Mary’s Smart Smile Program to our family of care providers,” said Beth Truett, president and CEO of Oral Health America. “Through our combined efforts, we can raise public awareness about the importance of healthy mouths for healthy lives, and proactively provide education and services in schools to prevent tooth decay for uninsured and underserved children.”

Tooth decay affects nearly 50% of second graders and almost 80% of 17-year-olds. While a new survey by Trident finds that U.S. parents don’t necessarily consider tooth decay a chronic childhood disease, they do recognize that--if left untreated--it can negatively impact a child’s well-being (63%), self-esteem (62%), and even concentration level (30%).

Each year, more than 51 million school hours are lost as a result of problems related to tooth decay. Trident’s contributions help SAA link local governments, 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.

“We are so excited to help expand the number of children nationally who currently receive oral health services and education in schools and extend our reach to now include Milwaukee," said Becky McAninch, senior brand manager, Trident marketing.

“Providing oral health-care solutions to our nation’s youth has always been a primary goal of Trident, and we are pleased to continue funding partnerships like the one with Smart Smiles to help shed a light on the importance of pediatric oral health care in underserviced communities.”

Consumers can purchase any pack of Trident gum from Sept. 13, 2010, through Sept. 19, 2010, and five cents per pack will be donated to Smiles Across America.

Thanks to contributions from supporters such as Trident, SAA provides its network with the funding and technical assistance in the areas of communication and coalition building that enables the network to reach more underserved and uninsured children and address barriers to care—lack of resources and transportation, low literacy, and language diversity.

To support the partnership, Walgreens and Plackers dental flossers have provided supplies for the Milwaukee program.

To learn more about the Trident and Smiles Across America partnership, visit Trident on Facebook at

For more information, visit

To read more about Smiles Across America, go to Smiles Across America.

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References from Trident available upon request.