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NCOHF reaches 1 million children


February 11, 2010 | dentalproductsreport.comweb exclusive NCOHF reaches 1 million children With February being recognized as National Children's Dental Health month, it's a good time to con

February 11, 2010 | dentalproductsreport.com

web exclusive

NCOHF reaches 1 million children

With February being recognized as National Children's Dental Health month, it's a good time to consider the importance of oral health among kids. 

Information provided by the National Childrens Oral Health Foundation

Photo: NCOHF

With February being recognized as National Children’s Dental Health Month, this is a good time each year to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health in kids. But it’s also a good time to recognize achievements like those accomplished by the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation.

In 2006, NCOHF: America’s Toothfairy, was established by concerned industry professionals with a shared mission of eliminating pediatric dental disease and ensuring all children have access to quality oral healthcare. Working through an Affiliate network of nonprofit dental clinics, community health centers, mobile care units and university dental programs, the Foundation delivers innovative education, prevention, and treatment resources to children from our nation’s most vulnerable populations. Today, less than four years since inception, this growing national NCOHF Affiliate network has touched the lives of more than 1 million children in need of comprehensive care.

Unwavering support from the dental industry’s largest companies has allowed NCOHF to provide affiliates with more than $5.5 million in donated product and direct financial grants. This corporate generosity also translates into local Affiliate programs expanding and enhancing critical oral health services in an aggressive response to the oral health epidemic. “We have grown tremendously since we became involved with NCOHF,” said Jeffrey Parker, CEO of Sarrell Dental Centers, an NCOHF affiliate. “We had over 35,000 patient treatments in 2008 and…more than 50,000 in 2009. We sincerely appreciate NCOHF’s support in helping us reach Alabama’s [underserved] children.”

“We have grown tremendously since we became involved with NCOHF.”

-Jeffrey Parker, CEO, Sarrell Dental Centers

Judi Rose, Vice President of an affiliate in North Hollywood and hailed NCOHF as “a significant partner with Valley Community Clinic in fighting to reduce childhood caries and periodontal disease in hundreds and perhaps very soon, thousands of young children.”

More than vital treatment services, however, affiliates offer a compassionate approach to care that is especially appreciated by the underserved families who visit these clinics. Adolfo and Elva Lopez began bringing their family to The Children’s Dental Center (TCDC), a Los Angeles-area NCOHF affiliate, after experiencing difficulty finding affordable dental care for their five children.

“A doctor told us that TCDC was affordable and was becoming well known for the service,” explained Mr. Lopez. “We’ve been coming here ever since. We can afford to bring the kids here and still receive really good quality of service. The people here are great, very helpful and always answer our questions. They make us feel very comfortable and the doctors are really patient with the kids.” The Lopez’s son Joel added, “I like coming here because it’s fun. The doctor is always careful and let’s me know what he’s going to do next.”

Dr. Ronald Goldstein, a longtime cosmetic dentist in Atlanta, has always gone out of his way to assist patients in need, including those who often could not afford the cost of their treatments. Additionally, he became a big supporter of NCOHF’s Tomorrow’s SMILES, a program aimed at high school students that provides oral health services to help promising at-risk students be better prepared for happy, healthy and productive futures.

“Tomorrow’s SMILES was set up to help deserving teens who need, but cannot afford a great smile,” he said. “It means so much to them to be able to not be discriminated against by their classmates because of the way their teeth look...and many do not smile anymore.”

Photo: NCOHF

NCOHF also established important organizational partnerships in order to provide communities across the country access to the same innovative oral health programs available in areas with an NCOHF affiliate facility. Renowned professional groups such as Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, Scottsdale Center for Dentistry and The Pankey Institute are encouraging members to embrace the mission of NCOHF by giving back to their community through smile-saving volunteer programs. Dental professionals have the opportunity to change the oral health landscape in their own backyard when they open their practice to underserved children and provide pro bono care through either the America’s Toothfairy Dental Home or Tomorrow’s SMILES program.

Innovative partnerships, outstanding corporate support and a growing network of comprehensive Affiliate healthcare facilities have quickly established NCOHF as a leader in the fight to ensure all children have access to the quality oral healthcare they deserve. While more than 1 million children have been fortunate to receive life-changing services through NCOHF programs, on any given day 4 million American children are experiencing such severe pain from pediatric dental disease they have trouble eating, sleeping and learning.

Fern Ingber, NCOHF President and CEO, expressed her confidence in growing to reach all children who still wait for basic care. “We started with only the visionary commitment of a small group of incredible clinical, corporate and academic leaders,” she said. “Many more caring corporations and individuals are now generously giving their talents and other resources. Who knows what we’ll be able to accomplish in another three or six years if more people will help America’s Toothfairy spread her wings?”

For more information on the programs and services of National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, visit www.AmericasToothfairy.org.

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