According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2013 nearly 21% of all American children lived in poverty stricken homes. The National Center for Children in Poverty echoed this result, but went one step further arguing that though these particular families lived under the poverty level, a $23,550 income for a family of four, in order for families to truly make ends meet they would have to earn a combined income of twice the poverty level, or 47,100 annually. Based on these results, the article claimed that nearly 45% of all American children belong to families with an income lower than this, rendering them low-income families.
Poverty-ridden children can suffer from a wide array of side effects. It can impede their learning, cause social and behavioral issues and even effect their health. While in emergency cases, children can be cared for through hospitals, foregoing upfront cost, needed medical maintenance for the child may be neglected as healthcare may be out of their reach. Dentistry may be even more neglected, as a physical exam is needed for entry into school, but a dental exam is not.
Poor dental health can be detrimental to a child’s health, both from the pains it causes and from the child possibly having lower self-esteem due to poor dental care. Furthermore, poor dental hygiene as a child may impede them as adults. All of this is why charitable dentistry may be one of the greatest gifts a child can receive.
There are many great people, practiced in the field of dentistry, who dedicate their time to assuring a brighter future for impoverished children. Christina’s Smile, which Dr. Dan Matthews is an active volunteer of, works in conjunction with PGA tours. When a PGA Tour or a Champions Tour Tournament takes place in a city, The Christina’s Smile dental clinic goes into the community to provide dental care to children in need. Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children, strives to make sure every child has a “dental home;” a place where children can go to receive comprehensive dental care. The National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, perhaps the most well-known charitable dentistry organization, provides equipment and services to help dental charities. Additionally, families can enroll in the programs Kid’s Club, which delivers ongoing dental education through the utilization of a monthly newsletter containing fun educational activities.
Become a Charitable Dental Volunteer
If you have dental experience or perhaps just a passion to help children’s fight against dental disease, donate your precious time to one of these organizations. Each charity is linked to its home site where you can receive more information about volunteering. You can make a difference in a child’s life by helping them ward off gum disease, caries and abscesses. Help give them a chance at a better and brighter future!