Public Health Awareness Campaign to Promote the
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To raise awareness about this issue, the
Special Olympics Special Smiles®, the dentistry portion of the Healthy Athletes program, fills a need for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) and offers a complete dental history, education about the importance of good oral hygiene habits, and a dental exam. At Special Smiles, trained clinicians assess several indicators of oral health including mouth pain, untreated tooth decay, and gingival signs. They provide treatment, mouthguards, fluoride varnish as needed, and referrals for follow-up care. After athletes received care through Special Smiles:
- 67% no longer had mouth pain;
- 25% no longer had untreated tooth decay; and
- 30% of athletes no longer needed urgent referrals.
The Special Smiles program is integrated within the broader Healthy Athletes program affording children and adults with intellectual disabilities holistic health care, which improves patient outcomes and reduces the overall cost of care. In addition to program benefits of the athletes receiving care, there are benefits for participating health care students and professionals. Through training and hands-on experience at screenings, students and professionals increase their knowledge of best practices in caring for, and communicating with, people with intellectual disabilities, which advances cultural competency and reduces health equity gaps.
“As we continue to advocate for public health, health equity, and wellness through the Wearing is Caring campaign, we are delighted to strengthen expanded access to oral health care provided through integrated models of care delivery, particularly for people with disabilities,” said
“People with intellectual disabilities are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and face inequities in all areas of health care, especially oral health,” said Dr.
This public health awareness campaign kicked off in
To learn more about the Wearing is Caring campaign, please visit www.hscaresfoundation.org.
Established in 2008, the
The Foundation is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible as provided by law.
Henry Schein operates through a centralized and automated distribution network, with a selection of more than 120,000 branded products and Henry Schein private-brand products in stock, as well as more than 180,000 additional products available as special-order items.
A FORTUNE 500 Company and a member of the S&P 500® index, Henry Schein is headquartered in
Founded in 1968,