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Extending Smiles Across America
Oral Health America (OHA), the nation’s premier, independent advocacy organization dedicated to improving oral health for all Americans, headed back to schools this fall with its Smiles Across America program. In eight regions of the country, from Maine to California, Smiles Across America helps communities build infrastructure for school-based or school-linked dental services. The program targets uninsured and underinsured children who do not have routine dental visits.
Smiles Across America exemplifies OHA’s “think globally and act locally” philosophy of seeking to connect with local program partners who have the highest incentives and the most at stake in en-hancing oral healthcare services. This in-creased community focus on oral health is successfully breaking down barriers to care and promoting stakeholder discussions on how to improve and increase school-based services. Launched in Chicago, the program now reaches eight regions of the country, including Maine, New York City, West Virginia, Chicago, Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties in California, and most recently, Philadelphia.
Through Smiles Across America, OHA raises funds and secures donated products for the provision of preventive services such as dental sealants, fluoride varnish treatments, oral exams, and prophylaxes to over 60,000 children annually. OHA also provides technical assistance to local oral health coalitions and collaboratives, encouraging partnership development, communications initiatives, and media outreach.
For more information on Smiles Across America or any of Oral Health America’s programs, please visit www.oralhealthamerica.org.