Feb 01, 2017
As part of its ongoing commitment to expanding dental health education in underserved communities nationwide, Kool Smiles is again supplying teachers with free dental health lesson plans and toothbrushes to use in preschool and Pre-K-5 classrooms during Children's Dental Health Month this February.
The dental health lesson plans have become a popular educational resource from the children's dental provider, with more than 6,000 lesson plans downloaded and 154,000 toothbrushes distributed to classrooms throughout the country since Kool Smiles launched the program in March 2013.
"Teachers are some of our most important allies in the fight against childhood tooth decay, so we are thrilled to see so many educators utilizing these free resources in their classrooms," said Dr. Dale Mayfield, Chief Dental Officer 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 plans include age-appropriate activities to generate learning and discussion about the importance of good dental health in preschool, grades K-2, and grades 3-5 classrooms. Interested teachers can download the lesson plans and order free toothbrushes for their classrooms directly from the Kool Smiles website at https://www.mykoolsmiles.com/dentallessonplans.
In 2016, Kool Smiles provided lesson plans to more than 2,000 educators across the United States and sent toothbrushes to 53,048 students in 2,075 classrooms. In 2017, Kool Smiles hopes to increase the number of classrooms and teachers using the materials.
According to a 2000 report from the U.S. Surgeon General, tooth decay is the leading chronic disease among children, five times more prevalent than asthma. Dental care is one of the nation's greatest unmet children's health needs, especially in low-income, minority and rural communities. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to pain, infection, and difficulty with eating, chewing, speaking, and learning.
Founded in 2002, Kool Smiles has more than 120 dental practices across 15 states and the District of Columbia, all working to make dental care more accessible to communities in need.
Kool Smiles' dental health lesson plan program is made possible with support from the Benevis Foundation.
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.
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