Smiles for Miles
Every October, Horizon Health Care offers the Smiles for Miles Program that focuses on bringing children ages 0-5 into the dental clinic for a preventative exam and cleaning. This program is available at all eight Horizon dental locations.
The program is made possible by the generous investors of the Horizon Health Foundation, with the goal being to start all children with a healthy oral health lifestyle at a young age. Through the initiative, Horizon Health Care provides donated dental services for kids in families that do not have insurance, or for families who struggle to afford dental care.
The Smiles for Miles Program provides children with a full dental exam, x-rays, cleaning, and fluoride treatment. Without these, many of the kids in our neighborhoods would go without the necessary care they need, which often causes problems well into adulthood.
Schedule a Free Dental Appointment for Your Child in October
If your child is in need of a dental appointment and you are worried about the cost, call one of our locations nearest you to schedule your child’s free appointment.
The Need for Access to Rural Dental Health
Rural areas and small communities face many unique challenges when it comes to dental health.
The National Survey of Children’s Health and the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center found that about one in four children do not visit the dentist every year. These findings also concluded that children in rural areas, as well as children of racial minorities, are less likely to have regular dental appointments compared to those in an urban area.
A lack of preventative care for underprivileged families is compounded by other risk factors affecting rural oral health. The Rural Health Information Hub and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported higher tobacco usage in rural areas across the US, as well as less fluoridation water systems due to a lack of funding.
By identifying these obstacles that can be detrimental to dental well-being while focusing on helping youth, we can make the smiles of our communities healthier.
Why Dental Hygiene is Important for Children
Proper dental hygiene is crucial for maintaining overall wellness, and it can even impact other areas of life.
Without teeth cleanings and a healthy dental routine, the risk for gum disease, pneumonia, kidney disease, and other conditions can increase. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even found dental-related health problems in children, showing that lower grades and poor school attendance can result from bad dental health.
In fact, about 20% of children between the ages of five and 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth, which illustrates the need for preventative care even more. Child dental services can instill a pattern of full-body wellness into the children who are our communities’ future.
Would You Like To Help Kids In Your Local Community?
We are committed to removing barriers that prevent children from having access to thorough, quality dental services. This program has been made possible by the generous investors to the Horizon Health Foundation. If you are interested in learning more to support this program, visit our donation page by clicking the button below.
For just over $20 a month, you can provide a dental exam, x-rays, teeth cleaning, and fluoride treatment to a child in need. 100% of your donation supports the Smiles for Miles program, and even a small contribution can make a big difference in a child’s life.