Written by Dentistry Today Monday, 28 October 2013 15:07
ST. PAUL, Minn. – (Oct. 25, 2013) –3M ESPE recently joined TeamSmile and the Minnesota Vikings to give underserved Minneapolis-area children a fun day of complimentary dental care and education, along with the chance to meet their favorite Vikings players. The program, held on October 15 at the Vikings practice field in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, served 300 children from area schools, providing each of them with hundreds of dollars worth of free dental care.
Among the Vikings players in attendance were defensive end Jared Allen, running back Joe Banyard, linebacker Desmond Bishop, fullback Jerome Felton, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, safety Jamarca Sandford, and offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb. Two team cheerleaders, mascot Viktor the Viking and other team personnel were on hand as well to be part of the day. Children in attendance were able to participate in a meet-and-greet with the Vikings, then move on to dental care, which was provided by more than 100 volunteer dental professionals.
With state-of-the-art equipment and materials provided by TeamSmile, 3M ESPE, and Henry Schein, the dental team was able to capture x-rays, perform preventive care, and provide further treatment including restorations and extractions. Organizers estimated that each child received $400 to $600 worth of dental care. Staff from 3M ESPE and TeamSmile also helped lead the educational component of the event, which taught children the importance of good oral hygiene at home.
The program was a first-time collaboration between TeamSmile, 3M ESPE, and the Vikings. TeamSmile organizes similar programs around the country as part of its mission to pair oral health professionals with professional athletic organizations to provide dental and preventative care to underserved children.
“3M ESPE was proud to sponsor this day of free dental care and instruction, and to foster a collaborative approach to treat and educate underserved children,” said John Stefanick, Director of Industry & Professional Relations, 3M ESPE. “In partnership with the Minnesota Vikings, we are happy to support the efforts of TeamSmile.”
“We are so thankful for the help and contributions of 3M ESPE, the Vikings, and all of our volunteers,” said Kellie Reneau, Executive Director of TeamSmile. “The mission of our program is to engage children in dental care with a fun experience thus building a foundation for their dental health as they grow.”