Smile Pep Rallies is committed to helping provide oral health access to underserved children in Minnesota.
Children living in rural or disadvantaged communities often face limited access to dental care providers and suffer from higher rates of tooth decay as a result.
In response, America’s ToothFairy and title sponsors, Crest, and Oral-B have teamed up to provide resources for nonprofit organizations working to improve the oral health of children in marginalized communities across the United States.
One such organization is Let’s Smile, Inc., a safety-net dental care provider based in Owatonna, Minnesota.
The team at Let’s Smile and their executive director, Holly Jorgensen, RDH change lives by improving access to oral health care, increasing oral health literacy, and raising awareness about the importance of oral health’s impact on overall health, especially to those most vulnerable.
Nonprofit organizations like Let’s Smile face an ever-growing need for services and depend on charitable contributions to meet the needs of the communities they serve.
To help Holly and her staff serve more children, America’s ToothFairy, Crest, and Oral-B provided funding and resources to support preventive services for 1,000 children and to hold Smile Pep Rallies in schools and daycares across rural Minnesota.
During the pep rallies students received:
- Instruction on how to take care of their smiles,
- Activity booklets and bookmarks that reinforce the importance of healthy dental hygiene habits,
- Educational information for caregivers, and
- Oral care kits including Crest toothpaste and Oral-B toothbrushes
The events also helped Let’s Smile staff identify students with urgent dental needs that could receive services through their school-based dental clinics.
“Students are often so excited to receive toothbrushes that their cheers can be heard in classrooms down the hall,” Jorgensen reported. “One little boy looked up at me in earnest and asked if there were enough toothbrushes to give to everyone in the class or if they had to share them. When I told him that yes, there is enough for everyone to get their own and he will be able to take his home, his smile lit up his face. I love when the children recognize us from the oral health pep rallies and are excited to sit in the dental chair for their clinical preventive dental services.”
“The stories we hear from our nonprofit dental partners are often heart-breaking,” America’s ToothFairy’s Executive Director, Jill Malmgren added. “It seems inconceivable that in a nation as wealthy as ours, families are sharing a single toothbrush and children are waiting for a year or more to receive dental services, but this is the reality in many communities. We are encouraged by the generosity of donors like Crest and Oral-B who are making it possible for more children to receive oral health education, essential preventive dental services, and products to help them establish healthy dental hygiene habits at home. We are exceedingly grateful for the dedicated members of our Dental Resource Program, including Holly and her team at Let’s Smile, who work so hard to ensure every child can have a healthy smile. It is an honor to contribute to their mission.”
This year, Crest and Oral-B are closing America’s smile gap by bringing dental care access, oral health products, and education to kids who need it most through support from partners like Let’s Smile Inc. and America’s ToothFairy.
For more information about the mission of America’s ToothFairy visit AmericasToothFairy.org.
A trusted leader in oral health, Crest was the first oral care brand to secure the ADA seal of acceptance for a clinically proven fluoride toothpaste.
Since first introducing fluoride toothpaste 65 years ago, it is estimated that Crest has helped prevent countless cavities in the United States.
Oral-B is the worldwide leader in the over $5 billion brushing market.
Part of the Procter & Gamble Company, the brand includes manual and electric toothbrushes for children and adults, oral irrigators and interdental products, such as dental floss.
ABOUT AMERICA’S TOOTHFAIRY: NATIONAL CHILDREN’S ORAL HEALTH FOUNDATION
As a resource provider, America’s ToothFairy increases access to oral health care by supporting nonprofit clinics and community partners delivering education, prevention, and treatment services for underserved children.
Since its inception in 2006, America’s ToothFairy has distributed more than $23 million in donated products, educational materials, and financial grants to improve oral health outcomes for children and youth in need.
For more information, visit AmericasToothFairy.org.