gifts in action:

Teen's Sleep Affected by Rampant Decay

When Maggie came to Kindersmile Community Oral Health Center in Trenton, New Jersey she was respectful and humble despite being in a considerable amount of pain. Upon examination, the hygienist discovered that almost half of the 16 year-old's teeth needed immediate care. Fifteen of Maggie's teeth needed fillings and another needed a root canal and crown. It was evident that her family was struggling and in need of help.

Maggie's mother was on her own with three teenaged girls. She had known for a while that Maggie needed help but she was trying to save up enough money to pay for the dental treatment she needed. In the meantime, Maggie's decay grew increasingly worse and now she was in excruciating pain. As the hygienist observed her sister's mouths, it was obvious this family did not know how to take care of their teeth, as low oral health literacy is a major problem in the communities served by Kindersmile.

Maggie told the hygienist that she was embarrassed by the odor the decay was causing. The pain was affecting her sleep and ability to concentrate at school. The team at Kindersmile was concerned that if they could not get Maggie's mouth restored to good health, she would face greater health issues. They reached out to America's ToothFairy for help.

As members of our Dental Resource Program, Kindersmile can apply for grants to help patients like Maggie who are in need of urgent dental care that costs more than their family can afford to pay. Thanks to Tomorrow's Smiles, a thoughtful fundraising campaign by Dr. Ronald Goldstein, and a donation from a generous donor, the funding was available to help relieve Maggie's pain, restore her smile to good health, and teach her family how easy it is to prevent tooth decay from happening in the first place. Now Maggie and her sisters have a place to go for routine dental care that can set them up for a healthier future!

To learn more about the Tomorrow's Smiles initiative and a free gift for donating, please visit

*Patient's name has been changed to protect her 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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