gifts in action:

Aetna Helps 2,500 Louisiana Kids Learn How to Keep Their Smiles Healthy

We were excited to partner with Aetna to promote prevention and raise awareness about the importance of oral health among Northern Louisiana children and their families!

Through our Smile Guardian initiative, Aetna provided oral health resources to organizations serving low-income and underserved families to promote good oral health practices including:

• Brushing twice a day for two minutes
• Visiting the dentist regularly for preventive care to avoid costly emergency treatment
• Eating healthy by limiting sugary foods and drinks
• Learning about the link between oral health and overall systemic health

With support from Aetna, 2,500 kids received “Protect Your Smile” education kits that included:

• activity booklets with oral health tips, a brushing chart, age appropriate activities,
• mirror clings reminding children to brush twice a day,
• Healthy Life brochures with oral health tips for the whole family,
• 5 Tips For Healthy Teeth bookmarks in English and Spanish,
• Dental Hygiene Kits that included toothbrush, toothpaste, and flossers for at-home care.

The kits were distributed by partnering with 25 non-dental community organizations to promote healthy dental hygiene habits to the populations they serve, reinforce the importance of oral health among families, and overcome barriers faced by low-income families by providing essential oral health resources and education through community sources they trust.

Recipients of the Smile Guardian resource kits included Providence House in Shreveport, Louisiana.

“Homeless families with children often come to Providence House with the clothes on their backs and perhaps a couple of bags of belongings,” Katherine Shirley, Director of Marketing & Community Engagement at Providence House told us. She was especially grateful to receive the toothbrushes, as many of the children come to Providence without one.

Other Louisiana beneficiaries that received kits included:

Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana, Monroe

Giving Hope Food Pantry, New Orleans

NOELA Community Health Center, New Orleans

Central Food Distribution Services, Inc., Central

St. Mary of the Angels Head Start, New Orleans

St. John the Baptist Head Start, New Orleans

CCANO Incarnate Word Head Start, New Orleans

Incarnate Word Head Start, New Orleans

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Head Start

Educare New Orleans

St. Paul the Apostle from Catholic Charities, New Orleans

Magic Head Start, New Orleans

Prime Time Head Start at Willow Street, Lafayette

Kingsley House, Inc., New Orleans

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Head Start

Clara's Little Lambs Preschool Academy, New Orleans

New Orleans Mission

Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana, seven clubs in six parishes

Thank you to Aetna for helping us reach 2,500 Louisiana children with oral health education that can help them grow up with healthy smiles!

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