- Dr. C. Everett Koop
- Former U.S. Surgeon General
- Chairman, Oral Health 2000
Smiles Across America
Oral Health America’s (OHA) Smiles Across America (SAA) program links local governments, businesses, and funders with care
providers and schools to help fight untreated oral disease. SAA offers resources and technical
assistance to help communities build infrastructure for school oral health services, particularly
those that provide dental sealants. The program supports services to over 90,000 children
annually and helps communities respond to the critical need for oral disease prevention and oral
Launched in partnership with public schools and community oral health providers in 2004, SAA
has provided over $1.1 million in grant support to programs in Maine, New York, Philadelphia,
Chicago, Minnesota, Las Vegas, and Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties (CA). SAA funding for
oral disease prevention services to uninsured and underinsured children allows communities to
leverage resources and expand programs. The program includes communications and marketing
strategies to underscore the message that oral health is critical to overall health.
In addition to grant support, the SAA Product Donation Program brings together leading
corporations and charitable dental facilities throughout the country. Through the SAA Product
Donation Program, OHA champions the local and regional dental health efforts of hundreds of
care providers by providing essential material resources—dental care products, supplies and
equipment. To date, OHA has provided over 723,790 sealants to approximately 192,670
children, and is well on target to reach a target goal set with America’s Promise of providing one
million sealants to 225,000 children by 2010. Through our SAA Product Donation Program we
have helped our partners save $1 million in oral disease prevention supplies.
Smiles Across America is made possible through sponsorships and grants from Trident, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Patterson Foundation, Aetna Dental, DENTSPLY
International, 3M ESPE, Pulpdent, Sunstar Americas, GC America, Delta Dental of Minnesota, Northeast Delta Dental, Greater Twin Cities United Way, George M. Eisenberg Foundation for Charities, Maine Community Foundation, and the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in America, affecting
50 percent of first graders and 80 percent of 17-year-olds. Untreated tooth decay and disease can affect a child’s health, well-being, growth, and achievement. Children with serious oral health problems can have difficulty
eating and sleeping, or concentrating in school.
Over 51 million school hours
are lost each year due to dental-related problems.
For more information about Smiles Across America, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oral Health America changes lives by connecting communities with resources to increase access to care, education, and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable.