The society encourages all members to support the Save a Smile Organization. Established in 2003 by the Cook Children’s and Children’s Oral Health Coalition, it provides low-income dental care services to children in Fort Worth.
All members of the Fort Worth District Dental Society are welcome to volunteer. In 2010 more than 100 dentists took part in helping this worthy organization. Patients are qualified and then matched with dentists to get care in private offices free of charge.
The ADA’s Give Kids a Smile Program
This program helps improve the oral health of many needy children. For policy makers, its activities highlight ongoing challenges that families encounter when looking for affordable dental care.
Every year members of the Fort Worth District Dental Society give free oral health care services to children participating in this program. These children are from low-income families around the country.
Another program, Smiles Change Lives is an orthodontic non-profit organization made to help children in low-income families obtain braces. This program is supported by orthodontists around the USA to help ensure children and teens get the orthodontic care they need.
The Smart Smiles Program
SMART stands for Saving, Maintaining, and Retaining Their Smiles. This is dedicated to giving underserved children oral health education and preventative care. It fosters a positive dental environment implemented by a referral system for essential dental treatment. This community-led program is sustained by local and state agencies as well as local dentists. It makes a positive difference in the lives of many children.
Screening Day Exams
When students get their parents or legal guardian’s consent, they can get screening treatments by volunteer dentists. They get a special report card explaining any areas of concern along with recommended treatment.
On this occasion, students are called to a special treatment room with their class. They meet with licensed hygienists and get preventive dental cleanings, dental sealants, and a fluoride varnish treatment. This treatment helps maintain teeth and prevent decay. A treatment-completed form gets sent home with children to let parents know what care they received.
Any child that needs more dental care will get referrals to local dentists. Most dentists will accept Medicaid and CHIP. There are also small treatment funds available to help pay for services that the children’s parents cannot afford if they are not qualified for Medicaid or CHIP.
Any elementary school with at least 55 percent of students on a free or reduced lunch program are eligible for the SMART. Schools districts wishing to get involved in the Smart Smiles program must raise local financial and volunteer community support.
SMART Smiles lasts three days. Consent forms are sent home with students. A screening appointment is then scheduled. This exam finds problem areas followed by a treatment the next week. If you want your school to participate, contact Jennifer Banton. Children’s oral health is important to their overall well-being. These programs aim to foster it early on.