Donations Bring Brighter Smiles to Little Rock Children

Posted Apr 2016

By Delta Dental of Arkansas

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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas - Parents in the Little Rock School District can smile brighter knowing their children’s dental health is secure.

The Future Smiles Dental Clinic, coordinated by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Children International, has received grants totaling more than $95,000 to support the future of the clinic.

The  Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation awarded a grant for $30,589 for 2016 and an additional $30,000 for both 2017 and 2018 to cover the operational costs of the clinic.

The funds will be used to buy supplies and equipment used in the clinic’s preventative and restorative dental services.

“We commend your organization for your efforts to improve oral health, and we are pleased to lend our support and be a partner in this project,” said Weldon Johnson, executive director of Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation.

Future Smiles also received a $5,000 grant from America’s ToothFairy: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation.  Future Smiles became an affiliate agency with the foundation in 2015.

The dental clinic used the America’s ToothFairy grant to pay for the salary of a contract dentist for its annual sealant project.

Children in partner schools travel to the clinic to receive sealants, a plastic protective coating that is placed on permanent molars to prevent cavities. The outreach is held every February during National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Thanks in large part to the grant, 186 Little Rock school children received 686 sealants to protect their teeth during the 2016 sealant project.

The Future Smiles Dental Clinic provides comprehensive dental care to children from low- to moderate-income households. The clinic is staffed by dental professionals from Arkansas Children’s Hospital, as well as dental hygiene students from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Since opening in 2005, the clinic has conducted more than 31,000 dental screenings and provided nearly $2 million of free dental care for children in the Little Rock School District.

“I would like to thank Delta Dental for their longtime support of the clinic,” said Jolene Perkins, manager of the Future Smiles Dental Clinic. “We are also very pleased to have a new partnership with the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation as an America’s ToothFairy affiliate agency.”

Visit UALR Children International to learn more about their programs.

This article was originally published on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock  website.

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