Traveling Smiles

IMG_1250Traveling Smiles is an outreach program of the Miami County Dental Clinic, which provides preventative and restorative dental care to the uninsured, underinsured and low-income children in Miami County in their school setting.  Dental care is the greatest unmet health care need in the state of Ohio, and dental disease affects nearly every school-aged child prior to the third grade. The program began in 2011 as the result of a generous grant from the Physician’s Charitable Foundation of Miami Valley, which made the purchase of the portable dental equipment possible.  Children who participate in the program are treated regardless of their ability to pay. Since 2013, the dental health professionals who staff Traveling Smiles have provided over $256,845.32 in free dental treatment to 1148 children throughout Miami County that do not have a home dentists.

Traveling Smiles has traveled to the elementary schools in Bradford, Miami East, Milton Union, Piqua, Tipp City, Troy, and the Upper Valley Career Center, providing students with cleanings and basic restorative dental services.  The primary focus of the program is on education and prevention for the children who have limited or no access to dental care.  During the summer months, Traveling Smiles hits the road to visit local non-profit agencies to serve their consumers.  It has served mothers and children at the Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County, families at the Lincoln Community Center, children at the West Milton Methodist Church lunch program, and individuals at the St. Patrick’s Hobart Community Soup Kitchen.  The goal of Traveling Smiles is to be in every school district in Miami County by the 2016-17 school year.