Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Ozarks and the Tooth Truck are proud to present the newest part of our organization: Healthy Smiles Academy!
Healthy Smiles Academy is an on-site brushing program that partners with Springfield Public Schools to teach pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students the importance of brushing their teeth. As an extension of the Tooth Truck, Healthy Smiles Academy reaches more children by providing dental education daily in the classroom. Healthy Smiles Academy provides a tremendous opportunity for EVERY CHILD in participating classrooms to learn and practice good dental hygiene, each and every day. We believe the routine and excitement of brushing at school carries over to children brushing on their own at home.
After local schools and teachers make a daily commitment to the program, we visit each classroom with a fun presentation, educating children on the importance of brushing and building excitement to care for their teeth. The program provides the supplies, volunteer support, and ongoing oversight to make sure the Healthy Smiles Academy succeeds. Volunteers start the program by coming into the schools and showing kids the proper way to brush. Over a few days or a week, volunteers provide support to help build a brushing routine in the classroom and keep the program on track. We’ve extended the program to local Boys & Girls Clubs and other organizations as well.
To help teach kids about healthy brushing habits, The Healthy Smiles Academy had a book made that tells the story of the brushing model we use, DecayAway Dragon. To read DecayAway Dragon’s story, click on the image below.
The goal of Healthy Smiles Academy is to prevent tooth decay, the #1 chronic childhood disease. The Healthy Smiles Academy also aspires to make brushing teeth exciting and routine for children. Each child is provided their own box of dental supplies and encouraged by our program and supporters to make this a healthy habit!
The Healthy Smiles Academy began through a generous grant provided by Missouri Foundation for Health, and we cannot thank them enough for their support. Because of the grant, the Healthy Smiles Academy will add 800 kindergarten and pre-kindergarten children at Title I schools to our program each year for the next three years, bringing our total participants to nearly 3,000!
To learn more about the Healthy Smiles Academy, watch the video below.
If you would like to contact the Healthy Smiles Academy, please reach out to Healthy Smiles Academy Manager, Tamara Maddox, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 816.536.1119.