In Chicago, 63% of third graders have cavities, and more than half of them go untreated. But thanks to a collaboration between GC America and America’s ToothFairy: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, caregivers will have the basic tools for home oral care and education.
GC America’s $100,000 philanthropic investment as a Title Sponsor for the 2018 Chicago Smiles Initiative will help support operational expenses and efforts to overcome significant barriers faced by underserved families in Chicago and its surrounding areas with an emphasis on the education of parents, grandparents, and other adult caregivers.
Obstacles to accessing dental care include low oral health literacy, financial hardship, lack of transportation, limited clinic hours, difficulties in identifying providers who can provide preventive and follow-up care, and a low number of providers, America’s ToothFairy reports.
Serving thousands of families, the Chicago Smiles Initiative will help support service delivery, educate caregivers, and reinforce the importance of oral health for the entire family, the organization says.
“We are focused on access to care, prevention, and education,” said Jill Malmgren, executive director of America’s ToothFairy. “We are very grateful for GC America’s continued support and value their partnership in improving children’s oral health outcomes.”
“GC America has already worked with Chicago-area schools to support oral health educational programming for students,” said Steve Fletcher, CEO of GC America and board member of America’s ToothFairy. “We are excited to work with America’s ToothFairy to make sure families in Chicago and beyond have the tools and information to reinforce those lessons at home.”