We want you to imagine a kindergarten student.
This kindergartener has three cavities causing throbbing pain.
Do you think he can eat normally?
Do you think he can pay attention in class or even play with friends?
Do you think his caregivers have a dentist to call or even the means to get him there?
Sadly, the answers for many Minnesota children is NO.
Ready, Set, Smile is stepping in to find these children. We go to them - in their school - and we treat them, educate them about good oral health, and start the students and their families on a forward dental path.
How do we do this?
The Ready, Set, Smile team, made up of dental professionals and community health workers (CHWs), sets up a portable clinic in the school. We provide routine preventive services and noninvasive, decay-controlling techniques. If a child has needs beyond our scope of care, we refer them to our network of community clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers, or private/corporate practices. Services are provided at no cost to families.
We also go into their classrooms and provide age-appropriate oral health education. This gives children the tools and knowledge to care for their own oral heath.
Finally, we reach out to families via phone/text, school visits or during school events. We aim to partner with them and be a resource for the school community .
We know it's working because new schools continually request our services. Our outcome data shows the longer we provide dental services and education at school, the lower the number of children have active decay.
To continue to provide these no-cost dental services and to expand to more schools, we have a goal of $6,000 this Give To The Max Day 2023.
Will you join us with a gift today?
We asked you earlier to imagine a kindergarten student. We will close with this true story:
One kindergartener would never eat the hard mini-carrots her school served daily for snack.
Her teacher noticed this but assumed she didn't like them. She also noticed this little girl lacked a kindergartener's normal energy.
During her first visit with the RSS team, we found multiple abscessed teeth. They were causing her pain when biting down and likely affecting her sleep. We could not treat them on the spot, but found a partner clinic who cared for her needs.
With time and continued care, her teacher noticed a change in personality. The little girl not only seemed happier and more energetic, but eagerly ate her carrots. With a smile, she would enthusiastically tell her teacher, "Now I can eat the carrots!"
Your donation makes an immediate difference in the lives of these children. Help us keep finding and treating these children in need. Please give today.