Effort under way to prevent tooth decay among school children

Sept. 28, 2007
Oral Health America celebrates good grades and healthy smiles.

CHICAGO--America's oral health is getting a boost from a nationwide effort to prevent tooth decay among school children.

Oral Health America is working with community dental sealant programs to deliver one million sealants by 2010 to children at risk for tooth decay. The organization has announced that more than 600,000 teeth have been sealed so far.

"We are proud to help prevent tooth decay, and ensure that children go back to school in good health, if not with a smile," said Robert Klaus, President and CEO of Oral Health America.

Oral Health America's Smiles Across America program reaches over 530 schools, and supports oral disease prevention services for almost 90,000 children each year, including the placement of over 170,000 dental sealants. The program has donated over $1 million for disease prevention services since its inception, and has raised over $300,000 for dental treatment so far this year.

"Smiles Across America is the only national program committed to expanding school-based or school-linked oral disease prevention services," said Sue Dodd, Oral Health America's Director of Programs.

"The program secures funds and donated product for communities, and also engages local partners in fundraising and coalition development, community outreach and media awareness."

The program currently operates in Chicago, Minnesota, Las Vegas, Maine, West Virginia, New York City, and Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties. With funding from Ronald McDonald House Charities, three new Smiles Across America sites will be added in the 2007-08 school year, including Kids Smiles, Inc., in Philadelphia.

Smiles Across America is made possible with funding from Ronald McDonald House Charities, Patterson Foundation, Cadbury Adams USA LLC, Aetna Dental, 3M-ESPE, Delta Dental of Minnesota, and Northeast Delta Dental Foundation.

Dental sealant materials and fluoride varnish are generously provided to Oral Health America's National Sealant Alliance and Smiles Across America from DENTSPLY International, Pulpdent, 3M-ESPE, Harry J. Bosworth Company, Whip Mix Corporation and Premier Dental Group.

Oral Health America is the nation's premier, independent advocacy organization dedicated to improving oral health for all Americans.

For more information visit Oral Health America.