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The Power of a Smile

We seldom think about the impact of a simple smile, but it’s amazing to consider that the involuntary act of curving the corners of your mouth upward and flashing your teeth can say so much without speaking a word.

A smile can say, “I’m friendly,” “Everything is going to be okay,” “I’m happy!” “You can trust me,” “I’m confident,” or “I’m relieved.”

Whereas, not smiling when you’re expected to, for example, when meeting someone new, sends a completely different message: “I’m nervous,” “I’m unfriendly,” “I don’t feel well,” “I’m insecure,” or “I’m in a bad mood.” Even combined with a handshake and “It’s nice to meet you,” without a smile, you’re unlikely to be believed. 

Imagine going on a job interview or a networking event and not smiling. You surely wouldn’t get very far! For millions of Americans, this may be the situation they find themselves in. In fact, a recent survey revealed that up to 28% of adults age 18-49 said the appearance of their mouth and teeth affected their ability to interview for a job.

If you have missing or chipped teeth, visible cavities or overall poor oral health, you’re unlikely to smile or may cover your smile instead of looking confident, trustworthy, and friendly. Considering that most employers make snap judgements about a job candidate based on their appearance, anyone with poor oral health has good reason to be anxious about their smile. It could have a profound effect on their employability–especially for a high-paying job.

More often than not, proper oral health habits are formed during childhood and can make a real difference on the child’s ability to excel at school and gain employment as an adult. 13% of kids in the United States have untreated decay, contributing to 51 million hours of missed school each year, struggling to concentrate, suffering from low self-esteem and, most likely, not smiling. It’s difficult to form friendships and develop essential social skills when you’re too embarrassed–or in too much pain‒to smile.

Saddest of all, most broken smiles are largely preventable with proper hygiene habits and annual trips to the dentist. That’s why America’s ToothFairy and our sponsors are so committed to supporting oral health education and preventive services like school-based sealant and fluoride varnish application.

In addition, our awesome Smile Drive volunteers and donors have helped distribute more than two million oral hygiene products to kids in need in the last five years! For homes that lack necessities like toothbrushes and toothpaste, these donations are a game-changer.

While helping kids access treatment when problems arise is commendable, it is essential to support initiatives that help prevent oral disease in the first place. Since our founding in 2006, America’s ToothFairy has provided support and resources to educate more than nine million kids and their caregivers about how to keep their smiles healthy.

A healthy, bright smile should not be taken for granted! Here are ways you can help at-risk kids prevent the decay that can impact them over their lifetime

  1. Support preventive care! Our annual online auction will benefit Screen & Seal Programs, helping underserved kids protect their smiles and prevent decay. Learn more on our event page: Bid For Smiles.
  2. Hold a Smile Drive! Just like a canned food drive works to provide food for the hungry, our Smile Drive volunteers collect and distribute basic oral care items including toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, rinse, and mouth guards for kids in need. Learn more about how you can get involved on our Smile Drive page.

  3. Be a Smile Guardian. Help up to 2,000 underserved kids protect their smiles. Your support of this initiative helps us distribute Protect Your Smile Resource Kits to schools, nonprofit dental clinics or community organizations that help kids in need. Click here for more information.

  4. Be the ToothFairy for a child in need. Ensure that a child gets preventive care in the next year with your monthly pledge. Each child will receive two dental visits and fluoride application for strong teeth all year long!

  5. Participate in our Wear Your Wings Challenge! This fun campaign helps spread awareness of the need for access to care and preventive programs for underserved kids. If you have a social media profile and the ability to post a video, you can help the rest of America learn about our mission!

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