Atlanta, GA., Feb 07, 2014
In recognition of February as National Children's Dental Health Month,Kool Smiles – a leading provider of quality dental care in underserved communities nationwide – today announced the launch of an online education campaign to promote good dental health among children, families, schools, and communities. Noting the release of a new study from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) showing an increase in cavities among children in recent years, Kool Smiles enhanced its ongoing educational efforts with an expansive online program, including popular social media channels.
"As dental care providers, it is our job to educate our patients and families about good dental hygiene," said Polly Buckey Boehnlein DDS, MS, Diplomat of American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles in KY, IN, MA and CT. "The AAPD study shows a disturbing trend in children's dental health, so Kool Smiles is expanding its efforts to reach out beyond our own patient base and into the community to get the word out. Cavities can lead to more costly complications and health problems down the road, yet they are 100% preventable. Children and parents need to know about the importance of good oral health at an early age and the Kool Smiles program is designed to communicate that information in creative ways to a broad audience."
Kool Smiles' online resource center, which includes kid-friendly activity books, free dental lesson plans for K-5 classrooms, and a toothpaste flavor contest on Facebook, is designed to promote good oral health habits in fun, accessible ways.
The online education center includes easy-to-remember tips for patients and families, such as:
Parents and teachers who are interested in accessing the online resource center should visithttp://mykoolsmiles.com/l/educationalcenter.
For the second consecutive year, Kool Smiles is also offering free dental lesson plans and toothbrushes to K-5 teachers as tools for promoting good dental health in the classroom. The lesson plans include age-appropriate activities and discussion questions to facilitate learning. Teachers who download the lesson plans are also given the option to have free toothbrushes sent to their classrooms.
"Many of our Kool Smiles patients come to us having never seen a dentist, and some do not have toothbrushes and toothpaste at home. That's why, in addition to helping the families we see at Kool Smiles, we are also committed to expanding education into the classroom and the greater community," said Dr. Boehnlein.
Teachers who are interested in downloading the free lesson plans should visit http://www.mykoolsmiles.com/dentallessonplans.
Founded in 2002, Kool Smiles has over 125 affiliated dental practices across 15 states and the District of Columbia, primarily in underserved communities that have historically lacked access to dental care. As recently as January 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that approximately 45 million Americans live in "dental care shortage areas." According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), approximately 80 percent of dentists do not accept patients with Medicaid or State Children's Health Insurance Plans (SCHIP), citing, among other reasons, low reimbursement for their services. Kool Smiles helps provide a safety net for these patients who often are not aware of the importance of good dental health practices and regular check-ups at the dentist.