Children’s Dental Health and Pediatric Dental Associates Participate in 16th Annual Give Kids a Smile Day
Children’s Dental Health and our sister company Pediatric Dental Associates partnered with Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY) for Give Kids A Smile Day the week of April 15th. During this week-long event, the dental professionals served more than $75,000 worth of oral health care to more than 120 children who were uninsured or haven’t been to the dentist in six months at the Allegheny Avenue, Plymouth Meeting and Springfield locations. The pediatric dental professionals provided children with free pediatric dental cleanings and comprehensive exams.
Each year, dental professionals donate their time and services to help children put their best smile forward. Along with basic care, Give Kids A Smile Day allows the staff the opportunity to serve as a health resource and educate families on the importance of pediatric dental care at an early age. Each child received a complimentary toothbrush and educational materials with additional information about oral hygiene.
The goal is for all children to establish a dental home by their first tooth or first birthday. Yet, nearly 17 million U.S. children – about one in every five — go without dental care each year, a 2009 Kaiser Family Foundation report stated. The U.S. Surgeon General called this lack of dental care a “silent epidemic.” Such unmet dental needs lead to “lost school time, challenges learning, impaired nutrition and health, and worsened job prospects in adulthood,” according to a Pew Center on the States report.
“The event has a huge impact on the dental health crisis in three areas. First and foremost, we are able to provide the basic care for oral health and ultimately, raise awareness of this disease and prevention education into the communities,” said Sara Toema, D.D.S.
Give Kids A Smile Day is the American Dental Association’s signature program designed to improve the oral health care of the community. “Preliminary data from this year’s event shows that two-thirds of the 687 children who received appointments had no insurance. Approximately 36,000 children in Southeast Pennsylvania and many more across the Commonwealth are uninsured, underinsured, or cannot access the basic health care services they need, including dental care,” said PCCY.
Despite the staggering numbers, most children in Pennsylvania are eligible for free or low-cost insurance through CHIP or Medicaid. In fact, both forms of insurance are accepted across Children’s Dental Health and Pediatric Dental Associates. For this reason, PCCY also uses this platform as an opportunity to help parents apply for public health insurance for their children.
Through continued outreach efforts, Children’s Dental Health and Pediatric Dental Associates are committed to providing quality and accessible care for their local communities and meet the dental needs of children across the region.