How do you turn a frown upside down? Offer free dental treatment to children in need. Smile Kentucky! is making arrangements for nearly 100 children to receive a smile-rehab at the University of Louisville’s School of Dentistry.
Last October, more than 3,600 Bullitt County elementary school children participated in the education component of the program, and more than 800 received a free dental screening on board the Colgate Bright Smiles Bright Futures dental van.
Every child received a goody bag complete with information on how to care for their smile and free products to help them do so. Children with no insurance and those deemed to have urgent needs were invited to participate in a Smile Kentucky! Treatment Day.
Eligible children will take a field trip this month to receive professional dental services, and it doesn’t stop there. Children requiring more care than can be tolerated on Treatment Day are automatically invited to return for subsequent appointments at no cost to them until their dental health is restored. It’s a huge commitment and a promise Smile Kentucky! has managed to keep since 2002!
This year, it all kicked off last Friday, which was Give Kids a Smile Day! In fact the American Dental Association (ADA) has made the entire month of February National Children’s Dental Health Month. The ADA’s 2019 slogan is "Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile." (Oh, and here’s another tip: remember to choose Louisville pure tap® over sodas and sugary drinks.)
Smile Kentucky! is considered a national model for community partnerships. It was created in 2002 from an existing partnership between Louisville Water, the Louisville Dental Society and the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.
Funding for the program comes from its steering committee as well as sponsors and grants. In all, more than 600 volunteers make the program work. For more information on the program, visit smilekentucky.com.