Atlanta, GA., Mar 03, 2016
ATLANTA, GA – In recognition of February as National Children’s Dental Health Month, Kool Smiles – a national provider of quality dental care for underserved children and families – is offering free dental health lesson plans and toothbrushes to preschool and K-5 classrooms across the country. Now in its fourth consecutive year, the lesson plan program is part of Kool Smiles’ ongoing effort to provide dental health education to communities in need.
“Each day, Kool Smiles dentists serve thousands of young patients from underserved communities, many of whom have never seen a dentist and some who lack basic dental health supplies, like toothbrushes and toothpaste, at home,” said Dr. D Ray Gifford, Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles. “That’s why we are firmly committed to expanding dental health education and preventive healthcare in classrooms across the country, to reduce the risk of cavities and help children develop healthy habits early on.”
Kool Smiles’ free dental lesson plans and toothbrushes are available to preschool and K-5 educators as tools for promoting good dental health in the classroom. The lesson plans include activities and discussion questions to facilitate age-appropriate learning in preschool, grades K-2, and grades 3-5 classrooms.
Last year, Kool Smiles provided lesson plans to more than 1,500 teachers across the United States, impacting more than 38,000 K-5 students nationwide. Free toothbrushes were provided to 38,183 students in 1,873 classrooms. In 2016, Kool Smiles aims to bring its educational materials to even more classrooms.
“Kool Smiles is eager to work with educators across the United States to improve the health and wellbeing of our children,” said Dr. Gifford. “Teachers are some of our most valued allies in the fight against childhood tooth decay and play an important role in bringing dental health education from the dentist’s chair and into the classroom.”
Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the United States, according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than one in five children ages 2-11 have untreated cavities, which can cause pain and infection, and lead to problems with eating, speaking, and learning. Children from low-income families are twice as likely to have untreated tooth decay as children from higher-income households, according to the CDC.