More than 550 children in 13 states and the District of Columbia received needed dental care at no cost during Kool Smiles’ 4th Annual Sharing Smiles Day, held Sunday, May 20, 2018.
Volunteer doctors and staff from 49 Kool Smiles offices participated in the free day of dental care for uninsured and underinsured children.
“While Kool Smiles is proud to accept many forms of insurance, including Medicaid, TRICARE and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage, we also recognize that too many children do not have access to dental care because they have inadequate insurance or face gaps in coverage,” said Dr. Brad Bryan, Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles. “Sharing Smiles Day is one way Kool Smiles is working to close this coverage gap and help all kids get the preventive dental care and treatments they need to have happy, healthy smiles.”
Children without dental insurance are twice as likely to experience toothaches as their peers with dental coverage, according to a 2017 survey from the Children’s Dental Health Project and the Benevis Foundation. Tooth decay remains the leading chronic disease among children and is one of the greatest unmet health needs in the United States, according to a 2016 Pew Charitable Trusts report.
Now in its fourth year, Sharing Smiles Day is an annual volunteer event from Kool Smiles that provides free dental care to children who are uninsured or underinsured. Nationwide, more than 2,100 children have been served by the free care day since 2015.
“This is probably one of my favorite days of the year,” said Kool Smiles Regional Business Partner Patrick Brown. “Sharing Smiles Day really shows what our company is all about –serving the underserved and providing quality dental care.”
Free dental treatments included dental exams, emergency care, extractions, fillings and sealants. Treatments were provided on a first-come, first-served basis and treatments were determined by the dentists after consultation with the child’s parent.
In Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the Kool Smiles team helped 20 families, including a family of five who recently fell on hard times when the father was laid off from his job.
“It made a big deal for us,” said Jason Robbins. “We can have all five of our kids get their teeth cleaned.”
Sharing Smiles Day is sponsored by the Benevis Foundation.
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About Kool Smiles
Kool Smiles is dedicated to creating a world of happy, healthy smiles. As a leading dental health provider, Kool Smiles’ mission is to improve lives by providing high quality dental care in a fun, compassionate environment. Kool Smiles dentists are proud to offer care to kids and adults with almost any insurance plan, including State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), Medicaid and Tricare. Kool Smiles also provides oral health education programs through partnerships with community schools and organizations. For more information, please visit www.mykoolsmiles.com.