Kids Smiles' goal is not simply clinical care, but health empowerment. Our award-winning model is a multi-faceted approach that addresses common barriers to oral health care, such as: lack of access to services, lack of integration between primary and oral health care, cost of care, and low oral health literacy.
Each of Kids Smiles' programs and services were established to address some if not several of these common barriers, but combined are both unique and still replicable, ensuring that the community and its children have permanent access to programs and services that will improve future health outcomes.
Kids Smiles' licensed oral health care professionals treat more than 19,000 children per year through our dental centers located in Philadelphia, PA and Washington, DC. Our patients receive preventive and restorative care, including exams, x-rays, cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, fillings, and more. Children with severe oral health issues are treated in an operating room setting to ensure their safety and full treatment of their dental disease
Children who are uninsured and under-insured receive free dental care through the Kids Smiles Grin & Share It Program. Nearly $300,000 in free services is provided through the program annually.
Kids Smiles First Smiles Program is a combined dental care and education program that provides dental exams for children ages three and under, while also providing the parent with one-on-one education with the dentist performing the exam. Key messages from the First Smiles Program have also been fully integrated in the Kids Smiles Oral Health Curriculum to raise awareness about the importance of early oral health care and how to properly care for young children's teeth through all of Kids Smiles' educational programming.
Kids Smiles Education & Outreach Program is essential to the fulfillment of the Kids Smiles mission, helping to improve oral health literacy and bring Kids Smiles services beyond our dental centers and into the communities we serve. Age-appropriate lessons originating from the Kids Smiles Oral Health Curriculum are provided through the Dental Detectives Academy in the waiting rooms of our dental centers, as well as to children through community partnerships with schools, day cares, Head Starts, primary care providers, and other community organizations. Community partners who receive outreach education services are also offered dental screenings to help identify any emerging or urgent oral health needs of the students. The Kids Smiles Prevention Program is offered in school-based settings as an additional resource to provide preventive oral health care to children who face the greatest barriers to accessing care.
To raise greater awareness of oral health as an important part of overall health, Kids Smiles has begun work to link primary care to oral health care through Primary Care Partnerships. In 2013, Kids Smiles partnered with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to provide lessons from Kids Smiles Oral Health Curriculum in several of CHOP's pediatric primary care waiting rooms. The increased access to oral health information through collaboration has helped to connect hundreds of children to oral health care since its launch.