Abingdon, VA., Apr 25, 2017
As part of its ongoing commitment to expanding dental health education, Kool Smiles partnered with Virginia State Delegate Todd Pillion to supply elementary school classrooms in Southwest Virginia with free dental health lesson plans and toothbrushes. Dr. Pillion's office has distributed more than 4,600 toothbrushes across the fourth legislative district, including over 1,000 to all three elementary schools in Dickenson County; Clintwood, Ervinton, and Sandlick elementary. Since Kool Smiles launched the program in March 2013, more than 6,000 lesson plans have been downloaded and 154,000 toothbrushes have been distributed to classrooms throughout the country.
As a pediatric dentist, Delegate Pillion sees the need for better education and improved dental hygiene habits daily at his dental practice. "As your window to the world, your smile is one of the first impressions you can make on someone," Pillion said. "We want to be sure our kids develop good oral hygiene early on and carry those healthy habits into adulthood. I am grateful to Kool Smiles for their partnership and efforts to improve our children's oral health in Southwest Virginia."
Tooth decay is the leading chronic disease among children, according to a 2000 report from the U.S. Surgeon General. A lack of adequate access to dental care remains one of the nation's greatest unmet health needs for children, and is estimated to be five times more prevalent than asthma. In Virginia alone, an estimated 15 percent of third graders experienced untreated tooth decay in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Kool Smiles works hard every day to be a resource to the communities we serve and we're committed to helping support the children and families of Dickenson County," said Dr. Ashley Nichols, Managing Dental Director for Kool Smiles. "Dental health education – including teaching children about the importance of brushing, flossing and healthy eating – can play a powerful role in reducing oral health disparities and shaping positive dental habits early in life."
Kool Smiles' dental health lesson plan program is made possible with support from the Benevis Foundation. To learn more about Kool Smiles' community outreach programs or to inquire about partnership opportunities in your community, please visit Kool Smiles' website: www.mykoolsmiles.com/dentallessonplans
About Kool Smiles
Kool Smiles is dedicated to creating a world of happy, healthy smiles. As a leading dental care provider, Kool Smiles' mission is to improve lives by providing high quality dental care in a fun, compassionate environment. Kool Smiles dentists are proud to offer care to kids and adults with almost any insurance plan, including State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), Medicaid and Tricare. Kool Smiles, with support from the Benevis Foundation, also provides oral health education programs through partnerships with community schools and organizations. For more information, please visit www.mykoolsmiles.com.
About the Benevis Foundation
The Benevis Foundation is committed to improving dental care access and outcomes for underserved communities in the United States through research, education and outreach. The foundation sponsors ongoing research on the role of Medicaid dental providers in improving access to preventative care, early intervention, and dental health education among traditionally underserved pediatric populations, as well as research on the cost savings associated with improving access to dental care among these patient populations in both federal and state healthcare systems. Through these research efforts, the Benevis Foundation hopes to provide data that informs and strengthens public policy related to dental access and affordability. For more information, visit http://benevis.com/benevis-foundation.