WASHINGTON—It was smiles all around today as 80 children were welcomed to their new dental home at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., as part of the fifth annual Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Dental Home Day. The children, many from underserved communities in the District, received free checkups, cleanings, treatment and oral health education.
A Day of Service. A Year of Care.
Nearly one in three children ages 2 to 5 in the United States are affected by tooth decay, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Children among low-income and minority families also have a disproportionally higher incidence of oral health issues including a rapid form of tooth decay. While this decay can trigger a domino effect of pain, malnutrition and quality of life issues, the good news is that it’s nearly 100 percent preventable with access to a “Dental Home” – a consistent place for ongoing dental care and education.
“Dental Home Day is an important part of Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children’s work to expand access to dental care and provide Dental Homes to the country’s most vulnerable children,” said Neophytos L. Savide, DDS, HSHC president. “For the children here today, this opportunity may open the door to a lifetime of good dental health.”
Dr. Savide expressed HSHC’s gratitude to Children’s National for hosting Dental Home Day and for making the year-long commitment to provide care for the participating children. “Children’s National Health System has gone above and beyond to make this Dental Home Day a reality. The impact of this generosity will be felt by each child here, each family, and the entire community.”
“Early and ongoing access to dental care is a key factor in overall health and development for children,” said Erik M. Scheifele, DMD, Chief of the Division of Oral Health at Children’s National. “We are honored to join HSHC in this effort to provide expanded access to Dental Homes and help children in our community grow up stronger.”
Dental Home Day, made possible by Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children: The Foundation of AAPD, marks the first day in a full year of free dental care for the participating children. Sunstar Americas, Inc. provided financial support for this year’s event.
Erika Hoeft, HSHC | [email protected] | 312-337-2169; 312-451-9422 (cell)
Rebecca Porterfield, Children’s National Health System | [email protected] | 301-244-6737; 717-940-0428 (cell)
About Healthy Children, Healthy Smiles: The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC) is the largest national dentist-led foundation dedicated to children’s oral health. The charitable giving arm of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), HSHC has given or committed more dollars to help children than any other dental charity. Since 2010, HSHC has donated more than $4.1 million to support access to care initiatives that have provided Dental Homes to more than 300,000 children in 29 states, plus the District of Columbia. HSHC is supported entirely through charitable contributions from pediatric dentists, oral health companies, the AAPD, and organizations with interests in advancing oral health.
About Children’s National Health System
Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is ranked in the top 20 in every specialty evaluated by U.S. News & World Report; one of only four children’s hospitals in the nation to earn this distinction. Designated a Leapfrog Group Top Hospital and a two-time recipient of Magnet® status, this pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is one of the nation’s top NIH-funded pediatric institutions. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. For more information, visit ChildrensNational.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Children’s National Dentistry Program
The Children’s National Dentistry program is a leading provider of oral health care services to children in the greater Washington, D.C., area. From check-ups to complex dental procedures, the program offers comprehensive oral health care specifically designed with children in mind. Our dentists also are specially trained to provide care for children with special health care needs.