KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 8, 2021) – Forty thousand children are smiling today thanks to one nonprofit organization, TeamSmile, whose mission is to provide a life-changing dental experience through the power of sports. Since its inception in 2007, TeamSmile has surpassed 200 programs, served more than 40,000 children and provided more than $17 million in free dental care and health education.
TeamSmile has worked over the last 14 years alongside key partners, professional sports organizations, dental professionals and community volunteers to provide free dental care and oral health education to underserved children across the United States. Using the power of sports, TeamSmile works to create a lifetime memory and reinforces the importance of good oral health care.
“Many people don’t realize that tooth decay is the most chronic childhood disease,” said John McCarthy, TeamSmile executive director. “We are fortunate to have committed and generous community sponsors, like our friends at Colgate, who have helped us from day one care for and treat 40,000 kids. We know this is just the beginning of our impact and look forward to making 40,000 more kids smile in the future.”
Over the years, TeamSmile has hosted an array of events, each of which has played a key role in helping children across the U.S. get the dental care they deserve. The nonprofit partners with professional sports organizations, from the Los Angeles Chargers to the New Orleans Saints, and from the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Indiana Pacers, Utah Jazz and the Kansas City Chiefs (and so many more), making dental education fun by hosting events inside sports stadiums with appearances from players, mascots and cheerleaders.
"The TeamSmile model of providing dental care and oral health education in partnership with sports teams, is unique and helps create a very positive experience for the children. The events have a great atmosphere and the smiles on the children's faces say it all! Colgate is proud to have partnered with TeamSmile to reach this milestone," said Dr. Barbara Shearer, Colgate’s director of scientific affairs.
Even through the pandemic, TeamSmile has continued to make a difference. The organization launched a series of Virtual Oral Health Education Programs in conjunction with the University of Buffalo Dental School, where students from across the country actively participate in fun and entertaining activities on the importance of oral health.
The work of TeamSmile would not be possible without help from its many national partners, including: Henry Schein, Colgate, Midmark, DentaQuest, Acteon, Henry Schein One, Dentsply Sirona, GOJO, Young Innovations, and the CAPTRUST Community Foundation.
For more information about TeamSmile, or to view upcoming events, visit https://teamsmile.org/.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, TeamSmile is the nation’s premier dental advocacy group that partners oral health professionals with professional athletic organizations to provide life-changing dental care to underserved children in surrounding communities. By partnering with professional sports organizations, TeamSmile creates an experience that develops bonds between children’s organizations, oral health professionals, surrounding communities, and the athletes that solidify the message that oral health care is vitally important to long-term health. Through this experience, children receive free oral health care and education, and are taught that the mouth and body are linked for overall health. For more information or news on upcoming events, visit https://teamsmile.org/.