gifts in action:

Community Dental Care

Many of the families served by our Dental Resource Program clinics have limited access to affordable dental care, and many parents do not understand the importance of good oral health and the value of preventive services. Barriers these families face include lack of insurance, low health literacy, fear of the dentist, and transportation issues. Some children seen at school-based programs have never been to a dentist.

Sophia, a first grader, came to Community Dental Care's (CDC) screening site in the music room of her elementary school. CDC staff told us, "Our health educator was informed that Sophia had been complaining of pain in recent weeks but her grandmother had been unable to find a clinic that took her insurance. We called her grandmother and shared that we would be able to schedule an appointment at one of our clinics that same day. It was an urgent case and we wanted to be sure she was taken care of. The grandmother was so grateful she began to cry. Once Sophia was seen at our clinic, the dentist had to extract three abscessed teeth. How challenging it must have been for Sophia to eat, sleep, concentrate and learn with that kind of pain! We were able to provide the treatment Sophia needed and now she has a healthy mouth. It is our goal to help Sophia and her entire family as their new dental home."

Without the support of our National Mobile Care Initiative, sponsored by Patterson Dental, Sophia and thousands of kids like her may have missed the opportunity to access the essential care needed to have healthy mouths.

Stories like Sophia's are preventable with annual preventive care. YOU can help kids access these services when you give to our Be the ToothFairy campaign.

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