According to the American Dental Hygienist Association, nearly 75% of American adults suffer from various forms of gum disease without knowing it. More than 108 million Americans lack dental insurance – that is more than 2.5 times the number who lack medical insurance.
Many are forced to forsake dental care due to financial burdens. By providing free dental checks, you can help fight tooth decay and gum diseases, and bring a smile back to the needy.
- Team up with dental care professionals. Contact organizations that may conduct vision screenings: Missions of Mercy, state dental society, dental school, dentist office, county health department, insurance companies, etc.
- Decide where you will hold the screenings. You can hold the screening in your church or at a busy location in town e.g. malls.
- Advertise your services. Ask permission to post flyers at local businesses and advertise at the local newspaper. It is helpful to print your flyers in Spanish as well.
- On the day of screening, set up tables and chairs. Put up table signs or banners and have dental health brochures or freebies ready to hand out. It is also helpful to have translators at the screening.
- Have greeters welcome participants. To be prepared for long lines, offer light refreshments and coloring/activity sheets for children. This link http://www.ada.org/sections/professionalResources/pdfs/ncdhm11_program.pdf from the American Dental Association contains fun kids’ activities in conjunction with the National Children’s Dental Health Month.
- For a nice surprise, try to get samples of dental floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, breath mints, or gums to hand out to guests as they come.
- To encourage children to care about their dental health, offer a toothbrush trade-in (make sure to include this in the flyers) or provide oral health “report cards” (e.g. Healthy Smile Certificate) they can take home.
- To encourage participation from dental care professionals or organization, consider holding the dental checks in conjunction with National Dental Hygiene Month (October) or National Children’s Dental Health Month (February).