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America's ToothFairy Initiative Bridges Dental Care Gap for Vulnerable Children


America's ToothFairy, a nonprofit organization, aids safety-net dental clinics in providing essential care to children in need, with their recent online auction raising money to support access to dental services for thousands of vulnerable kids.

America's ToothFairy Initiative Bridges Dental Care Gap for Vulnerable Children. Image credit: © America's ToothFairy

America's ToothFairy Initiative Bridges Dental Care Gap for Vulnerable Children. Image credit: © America's ToothFairy

Recent studies have indicated that 1 in 5 children in America don’t receive essential dental care each year, equaling about 14.5 million children who may be at risk for a variety of oral infections or issues later down the line, according to a press release from America’s ToothFairy. To address this challenge, America's ToothFairy, a nationwide nonprofit organization, has been working to provide crucial resources to safety-net dental clinics. These resources, including dental products, equipment, and financial grants, are channeled through the organization's Dental Resource Program (DRP) to support clinics serving vulnerable children.

FirstHealth Dental Care, a DRP member since 2008 located in Southern Pines, North Carolina, serves nearly 3700 children from rural counties with limited access to dental services. FirstHealth Dental Care relies on the support provided by America's ToothFairy to fulfill its mission.

Dr Sharon Harrell, the clinic's dental director, emphasized the vital role these resources play in preventing decay and maintaining oral health for their primarily Medicaid and uninsured low-income patients in the press release. “America’s ToothFairy helps keep us afloat.” Dr Harrell said.

One of the flagship initiatives driving America's ToothFairy's mission is its annual online auction, known as "Bid For Smiles." 2024’s event, held from March 20 to March 22, raised nearly $19,000. The proceeds from this auction will facilitate access to dental services for an estimated 3500 children in need.

Jill Malmgren, executive director of America's ToothFairy, underscored the importance of initiatives like Bid For Smiles, stating in the press release, "We believe that kids with healthy smiles have a better chance of reaching their potential." Since its inception in 2016, Bid For Smiles has garnered substantial support, raising a total of $745,000 to date. Corporate sponsors such as GC America and Darby Dental have been instrumental in the success of this initiative, contributing to its impact on children's oral health nationwide, per the press release.

The auction featured an array of prizes, including an Apple Watch donated by Darby Dental, dental equipment from Patterson Dental, and various other donated dental products. With over $35,000 worth of items available for bidding, participants had ample opportunities to support the cause.

Looking ahead, America's ToothFairy is gearing up for the next Bid For Smiles auction, scheduled for March 19-21, 2025. Those interested in participating or contributing as sponsors are encouraged to visit BidForSmiles.org for more information.

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