Smile Drive to Collect Oral Hygiene Items for Underserved Kids

Dentistry Today


America’s ToothFairy has launched its annual Smile Drive to raise awareness of the importance of children’s dental health and to collect toothbrushes, toothpastes, and other oral care products throughout February, National Children’s Dental Health Month. The organization led its first Smile Drive in 2014, and this year, it expects to collect more than a million products for underserved children through the campaign.

“A toothbrush and toothpaste is something many of us take for granted,” said Jill Malmgren, executive director of America’s ToothFairy. “However, for the families we serve, the expense of purchasing and regularly replacing oral care products can be a hardship. As a result, children often share toothbrushes with their siblings, use the same toothbrush for years, or simply don’t have one at all, which negatively impacts their dental health. 

Smile Drive participants set up a donation box, collect as many products as possible, and deliver them to a local charity serving youth in need such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which is the America’s ToothFairy Smile Drive recipient for 2017. All participants have access to a free Smile Drive Toolkit, which includes downloadable flyers, templates, and other tools for promotion. 

“Our patients were delighted to know our office was participating in the Smile Drive,” said Kristy Heine, CDA, of Jordan and Young Dental in Windsor, Conn. “Our donations were delivered to our local food bank, which was very excited to receive them since dental hygiene items are often overlooked when donating to a food bank. We are proud that our collected items served those in need in our community, and we look forward to participating this year with even bigger numbers!”

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