During the 2014-2015 school year, our SAA network of 304 program partners reached over 460,000 children in school-based or school-linked settings in 47 states with oral disease prevention and oral health promotion services such as dental sealants, fluoride varnish treatments and family education.
Smiles Across America® turns 10!
In 2004, SAA launched to provide oral disease prevention services for children who are uninsured and underserved due to issues of poverty – lack of resources, transportation barriers, low literacy, and language diversity. The program's debut initiative supported the Chicago Department of Health's dental program, which provides dental care to over 100,000 students in Chicago Public Schools.
Throughout the year, OHA will co-host events across the country and highlight the founding SAA partners--Chicago Department of Public Health, Children's Dental Services of Minneapolis, New York University College of Dentistry-Pediatric Dentistry, Santa Barbara-Ventura Counties Dental Care Foundation, and West Virginia University. The anniversary festivities will culminate with a celebration held in Chicago, which is home to both the first SAA partner and OHA's national headquarters.
SAA provides technical assistance to over 135 community partners across the county. SAA provides monthly webinars on topics such as consent form compliance, preventive dental products, and coalition building. SAA also offers grant writing assistance and communications tools.
View SAA Webinar Series >>
OHA is a partner of America’s Promise, an organization founded by Colin and Alma Powell to improve the lives of children. In 2010, OHA met its commitment to America’s Promise to seal 1 million teeth. SAA has renewed its commitment with a new promise to seal 2 million teeth by 2020!
SAA distributes more than 500,000 units of donated dental product annually, reaching over 900 treatment partners since 1998. OHA offers sealants, fluoride varnish, prophy paste, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sugar free gum, dental flossers, and other supplies from leading corporate partners.
Did You Know?
SAA is affording care for children who do not have regular dental visits due to lack of resources, insurance, transportation, or because of low literacy or language barriers. The program works with community leaders, elected officials and the media to make the case that healthy mouths are critical to overall health.
- Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in America, affecting 50 percent of first graders and 80 percent of 17-year-olds.
- Over 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related problems. 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, sleeping, and concentrating in school.
Thank you to our generous Smiles Across America Sponsors and Funders: