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America’s ToothFairy Helping More Children as Donated Products Set to Exceed $20 Million

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Recent donations from SS White and other corporations are helping nonprofit dental clinics to provide restorative care to more kids in need.

Staff at Dental Health Arlington in Arlington, Texas share their thanks after receiving donated dental burs. To date, 31 nonprofit clinics have received dental burs from a recent donation from America’s ToothFairy and SS White Dental worth more than $1.2 million. | Image Credit: © America’s ToothFairy

Staff at Dental Health Arlington in Arlington, Texas share their thanks after receiving donated dental burs. To date, 31 nonprofit clinics have received dental burs from a recent donation from America’s ToothFairy and SS White Dental worth more than $1.2 million. | Image Credit: © America’s ToothFairy

Children across the country are lacking proper access to oral care and as we all know, putting off regular treatment is asking for more serious, and more costly dental problems.

Thankfully, several corporations have been making generous donations to groups such as America’s ToothFairy, which in turn provides resources to nonprofit dental care providers enabling them to treat more children in need.

America’s ToothFairy—which is set to exceed $20 million in donated products for safety-net dental clinics—shares the story below to illustrate just how impactful dental care, or the lack thereof, is for children and their families.

When Edward [the child’s name has been changed here] brought his family to their local food pantry in Summit, New Jersey to pick up fresh produce, his children had more than hungry bellies. Sadly, his 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son had learned to live with dental pain. Everything changed for them that day when Edward learned that the KinderSmile Oral Health Program would be visiting the food pantry to connect families with essential dental services.

Upon examination, the KinderSmile team discovered 12 cavities and the need for multiple root canals, deep fillings and extractions for Edward’s daughter, and 8 cavities in her little brother’s mouth. It was a predicament KinderSmile is all too familiar with; delayed treatment turning minor tooth decay into an urgent dental crisis.

For families like Edward’s, dental care is a luxury that is often out of reach for many reasons.

In communities with high poverty rates or a shortage of affordable dental care providers, safety-net clinics like KinderSmile can struggle to keep up with demand. Children who live in these communities often wait a year or longer to get an appointment, leading to more costly treatment.

“Dental insurance, transportation, inconvenient hours for working parents, and lack of professionals who are willing to spend the extra time and resources to treat patients who are very young, those who may have behavioral problems, or those who need more time because of a disability, are some of the barriers that underserved communities typically face,” KinderSmile’s Founder and CEO, Dr. Nicole McGrath-Barnes says in a press release.

In recent years the organization has seen an increase in the cost of infection control and clinical supplies required to maintain the health and safety of their staff and patients. Although their monthly supply expenses have nearly doubled, they are not seeking any additional fees from patients to close the gap and provide access to oral health education and dental care regardless of insurance status.

“We rely on donated supplies to maintain the high standard of care and volume of children that we are able to serve,” McGrath-Barnes adds. “We are proud to provide dental homes with the feel of private dental offices, where patients are treated with dignity, respect, and cultural sensitivity.”

As a member of the Dental Resource Program of America’s ToothFairy, KinderSmile qualifies for free resources including donated dental supplies and equipment to help them stretch their budget and serve more children.

KinderSmile was one of 31 nonprofit dental care providers that recently received donated dental burs from SS White Dental, which donated more than 1.2 million dollars’ worth of carbide and diamond burs to America’s ToothFairy. Now in their 19th year, the nationwide nonprofit organization will reach more than 20 million dollars in distributed dental supplies and equipment to their Dental Resource Program (DRP) members this year.

“We believe that nonprofit dental clinics are the best way to ensure that all families can access the dental home their children need to treat dental disease and prevent tooth decay from happening in the first place,” Jill Malmgren, executive director of America’s ToothFairy, states in the press release. “Safety-net clinics can break the cycle of poor oral health in low-income and underserved areas with support from the dental community.”

To increase access to dental care, America’s ToothFairy leverages its partnerships with major dental companies to provide donated supplies so that nonprofit dental clinics can stretch their budgets and serve more kids than they could alone. Since 2006, DRP membershave provided oral health services in under-resourced communities across the United States, serving more than 10 million kids and caregivers, including Edward’s family.

Since his encounter with KinderSmile, the nonprofit reports that Edward has been bringing his children regularly for comprehensive care. After several visits the kids have been receptive to treatment, and their mouths are nearly fully restored. They will be able to start school free of pain and infection, better equipped to eat, speak, sleep, play, and learn, with better confidence and self-esteem.

“We are so thankful to have SS White as a partner to help more kids get the dental care, they need to be healthy,” Malmgren adds. “Our program members count on the generosity of others to expand care to the kids that need it most. Donated supplies free up resources to help our members serve more children and shorten wait times.”

“We strive to change the shape of dentistry every day. It’s critical to us that kids receive dental care and resources to improve their oral health,” adds Tom Gallop, CEO of SS White. “We are proud to support America’s ToothFairy and their mission to increase access to dental care for children and teens living in underserved communities.”

Other recently donated products include an assortment from Cosmedent, GC America, and Tokuyama, toothbrushes and toothpaste from Crest and Oral-B, and dental puppets and toothbrushes from SmileMakers, the organization says.

For more information about donating dental products and equipment or office supplies to the nonprofit dental care providers served by America’s ToothFairy, visit AmericasToothFairy.org/donate-a-product.

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