We want to take a moment to let you know about a great kid with a great new smile.
We got a call from a teacher of a young child in middle school who was being teased by other students because he had many visibly decayed top front teeth, which made him terribly self-conscious. An immigrant, he wasn’t eligible for health insurance and his family couldn’t find a low-cost, Spanish-speaking dentist.
PCCY’s Give Kids A Smile dentists signed up to provide preventative care—cleaning teeth, fluoride treatments and x-rays—not to fill multiple cavities or pull teeth. But one dentist agreed ahead of time to provide the care he needed. And the rest, including the teasing, was history.
We heard from his teacher after Give Kids A Smile.
“You made my day!” she reported. “I can’t tell you what a difference this day made for my student. He walked into school Monday morning with a HUGE smile and so proud of his new haircut and new teeth. He is like a different kid.”
Twenty-nine generous dental practices in Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties opened their doors last week to provide 600 children with free dental care as part of PCCY’s 14th annual Give Kids a Smile initiative! Over those 14 years we’ve helped 3,500 children secure dental care.
Give Kids a Smile is particularly targeted for children who are uninsured, have not been to the dentist in over 6 months and/or whose parents do not know how to find a dentist who will accept their insurance. Preliminary data from this year’s event shows that 60% were uninsured, 90% hadn’t been to the dentist in over 6 months and 50% did not know how to find a dentist.
65,000 kids in southeastern PA have not seen a dentist in a year; students with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school because of dental pain.
Give Kids a Smile is as much about kids getting good dental care as it is about helping parents of uninsured kids apply for health insurance so kids can obtain dental care whenever they need it. Medicaid and CHIP cover dental care – and almost every Pennsylvania child is eligible for one of these programs. After making their children dental appointments, we transferred parents with uninsured children to PCCY’s Child Health Watch Helpline to start the process of applying for coverage.
Children who are immigrants or whose parents are immigrants are disproportionately uninsured; consequently, PCCY conducted targeted outreach in immigrant communities. Preliminary data from this year’s event shows at least 30% of the children lived in immigrant families and a language other than English was the primary language spoken in their home.
Special thanks to our dedicated volunteers who assisted families and helped spread the word and to PCCY supporters like you who help to improve the lives of children every day.
And, of course, THANK YOU to the amazing dental practices who make Give Kids A Smile possible:
Abbottsford Falls Family Practice & Counseling
Aldan Family Dental
Civillico Family Dentistry
Dental First Corp.
Doc Bresler’s Cavity Busters
Dr. John Delgaiso’s Pediatric Dental Team
Dream Smile Dental
Greater Philadelphia Health Action
Kids Smiles 1
Kids Smiles 2
Loretto Multi-Specialty Dental Center
North Penn Smiles
Pediatric Dental Associates
City Health Centers
Dr. Raj K. Shah
Smile Concepts Dental
Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Dental Practice
Upper Merion Dental Associates
UPenn School of Dental Medicine
Join the REVOLUTION on May 16! You’re invited to PCCY’s annual party at the newly minted and utterly stunning Museum of the American Revolution!