During National Children’s Dental Health Month in February, we take a moment to shine a light on a part of children’s health that is often secondary when discussing health. Though sometimes overlooked, dental health is health and early childhood caries (more commonly known as tooth decay or cavities) remains the single most common chronic disease in U.S. children.
For children living in poverty, like 37% of the children in Philadelphia, caring for dental health may take a back seat to various hardships families face in everyday life, but the effects of ignoring it are clear when a child is undernourished because their mouth is in too much pain to eat or a toddler requires anesthesia to treat the amount of decay in their mouth.
The Kids Smiles Grin & Share It program ensures that any child in need of dental care receives it, providing free care to uninsured children throughout the year. Kids Smiles stands in the spotlight during National Children’s Dental Health Month as the only 501c3 non-profit dedicated solely to children’s dental health and providing free care for uninsured children in Philadelphia and neighboring Delaware County.
With the right resources, consistent access to dental care, and health knowledge in a community, poor oral health is both treatable and preventable. Join Kids Smiles this month to Grin & Share It, making a donation that will support healthy smiles for children in the heart of their community.