A standing ovation at the Celebration of Smiles reception

February 22, 2013
Renee Knight

Issue 2

America’s ToothFairy at Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting  Celebration of Smiles reception updates dentists on the foundation’s latest programs and successes.

America’s ToothFairy at Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting  Celebration of Smiles reception updates dentists on the foundation’s latest programs and successes.

A child’s smile shouldn’t cause embarrassment or pain.

Yet, there are millions of children who suffer from pediatric dental disease, a preventable disease that can lead to so many problems and unnecessary pain. That’s why The National Children’s Oral Health Foundation exists, to eliminate pediatric dental caries by providing programs and comprehensive resources to deliver community based prevention, educational and treatment services.

After the first day of the2013 Chicago Dental Society’s Midwinter Meeting came to a close, dental professionals who believe in this organization and what it does gathered for a reception Thursday evening at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom. They were treated to food, cocktails and an update on the foundation’s programs.

Dr. Gordon Christensen gave the audience an overview on various programs, including:

  • The Oral Health Zone Program, which brings together community stakeholders to educate about the importance of oral health

  • Tomorrow’s SMILES Treatment Group

  • Dentists by Designation, which celebrates dentists who commit to oral health promotion within their community

  • Tomorrow’s SMILES, a program that enables teenagers who otherwise couldn’t receive treatment to get the treatment they need, pro bono. These teens then pay it forward by serving as mentors in their community.

  • Students United for America’s ToothFairy, which engages students in promoting oral health in their community

  • America’s ToothFairy Kid’s Club, a program designed to send children personalized messages and get them excited about oral health

  • The Ester Wilkins International Education Program and Legacy League, which is now in 100 dental hygiene schools with 400 hygienists involved. By 2016, they expect to reach 1 million caregivers and children with this program.

Savannah Robinson, 14, an America’s ToothFairy ambassador, shared her story with the audience. She was bullied as a child, and was embarrassed by her smile. She was recommended to participate in the Tomorrow’s SMILES program through the Boys and Girls Club, an America’s ToothFairy partnership that is set to expand to 4,000 clubs nationwide. Savannah couldn’t be more grateful for what Tomorrow’s SMILES has given her.

“It’s so amazing they’re going to help fix me,” she said” They’re going to give me a smile. It means the world.”

The teen sang “Beautiful” at Thursday night’s reception, and the audience responded with a standing ovation.

“This is Tomorrow’s SMILES,” President and CEO Fern Ingber said. “This is what it’s about.”