Did you know that smiling can reduce stress and social anxiety, strengthen your immune system and improve the mood of those around you? There are even studies that suggest when we smile we appear to be more approachable, trustworthy and attractive. An important social asset, smiling should never be taken for granted. Sadly, tooth decay is still the most common childhood disease and hundreds of thousands of children are not able to visit the dentist because of their parents' inability to pay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry via its Healthy Smiles Healthy Children Grant has set out to change that to ensure a future full of smiles.
The Healthy Smiles Healthy Children Program
Since 2010 the Healthy Smiles Healthy Children Program has provided over $4 million dollars in grants to organizations in twenty nine states so that underserved children can get the prevention and treatment they need. A priority is to provide Dental Homes to children whose parents can not afford oral health care. For those unfamiliar with the term, a Dental Home is not a physical structure, but a relationship between a family and their dentist so that children have continued and comprehensive access to all necessary dental services. The HSHC grant offers up to $20,000 to an organization for a single year program. Funds may be used for:
- Child oral health care
- Instruments, clinic supplies and equipment
- Education and/or outreach to recruit dentists for the program
Applying for the Healthy Children Healthy Smiles Program
Eligible applicants include but are not limited to: state and local governments, including county health departments and local health jurisdictions, nonprofits, hospitals and clinics, schools of dentistry, pediatric and family medicine, national, state and local dental societies. Refer to the application page for tips on writing successful applications. HSHC also offers a multi-year grant to selected recipients who have already received the Single-Year HSCH grants. Apply by December 15, 2016.