gifts in action:

MGE: Management Experts supports oral health education and restorative dental care.

We know first-hand the challenges that safety-net clinics face to provide quality dental care and preventive services for low-income families and children living in areas where services are often out of reach.

America’s ToothFairy was founded with the idea that dental professionals can work together to improve the oral health of children who do not get the dental services they need to be healthy and whose oral health literacy is limited.

Lynn Cooper, a school nurse at Doe Run Elementary School in Doe Run, GA, poses with her students after an oral health presentation made possible with materials sponsored by MGE: Management Experts.

Our program members have the systems in place to provide services for families that don’t have equitable access to dental care. What they often lack are the resources. With support from generous donors, we’ve helped our program members dramatically increase access to dental services and provide oral health education for more than 13 million kids and caregivers across the country since 2006.

One of those kids is three year-old Sergey,* who recently immigrated with his family from Tajikistan, the poorest nation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Sergey's father brought his family of five to the other side of the world in order to provide a better life for his children. He recently secured a job but the family is still living well below the federal poverty level.

The family went to Cass County Dental Clinic (CCDC) in Kansas City, Missouri seeking care for Sergey and his older brother and sister, however, because of their green card status they were ineligble for Medicaid. Despite this, CCDC provided an initial exam, cleaning, and fluoride treatment at no charge.

The staff discovered rampant tooth decay and dental abscesses on Sergey's older siblings and cavities on three of Sergey's teeth. After treating the urgent dental needs of his siblings, little funding was left for early intervention for Sergey to prevent a similar outcome. That’s when CCDC reached out to America’s ToothFairy for help.

"We hope that we can treat Sergey with an In the Gap grant from America's Tooth Fairy while avoiding the need for sedation in the future," CCDC's Katie Schroder told us. "We are happy to help them settle into their new home as well as establish a dental home for them for the first time in their lives," Schroder added.

The benefit of connecting kids like Sergey with a dental home is what sets our In the Gap Program funding apart from other charitable dental service programs. Children need a lifetime of routine dental care in order to keep their mouths healthy. CCDC not only addressed Sergey's immediate dental needs, but will also be an essential resource for the family for years to come.

A child in Orange, VA learns to zap cavities with education resources to our program partner, Piedmont Regional Dental Clinic.

One of our partners that helps kids in need access essential dental care is MGE: Management Experts, an education and coaching program that aims to help dentists be more successful business owners. MGE has held a charity auction to benefit our mission very year since 2019, raising a total of more than $326,000.

This year, the auction funding provided life-changing dental services for seven children in need of restorative care—including Sergey—as well as superhero-themed, back-to-school oral health education kits that were used to teach 10,000 kids and their parents how to prevent dental disease, and resources to help 100 community volunteers reach an additional 2,500 kids across the country.

Left: Staff from the KinderSmile Foundation in Trenton, NJ thank MGE for their educational materials. Right: Staff from Apple Tree Dental in Mounds View, MN have fun dressing as Oral Health Action Heroes to thank MGE for their kit. In all, 10 safety-net dental clinics received enough materials to reach 10,000 children in under resourced communities across the U.S.

In addition to supporting the provision of restorative care for patients who would otherwise fall through the cracks, prevention and education programming is an important part of our mission. Our education kits help our partners provide oral health education and preventive services to many children who would otherwise not have received it. We are grateful for the support of MGE: Management Experts for supporting our education initiatives and access to care programs!

Additional materials were to distributed to community educators in additional areas nationwide including (left to right) Pleasant Plains, Arkansas, Flintstone, MD, and Casselton, ND.

*Patient’s name has been changed to protect his privacy. Not all grantees have provided photos. In some cases, stock photos are used to represent a patient’s gender, age and ethnicity, if known.

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