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Happy Smiles for Hilltop

The children of our community have a problem - cavities! Our awesome kids are sometimes spending the night at the Children’s Hospital for intravenous antibiotics and mouth surgery to fight the infections these cavities have caused. Some kids stop growing because it hurts too much to chew with teeth destroyed by cavities. Thankfully, there is a simple solution - Fluoride! Pediatricians across the country are starting to apply fluoride varnish to young children’s teeth. Simply put, kids have a hard time getting to the dentist. But nearly all kids come to the pediatrician’s office for their check ups. For pediatricians, this is an incredible opportunity to do more to improve the lives of our amazing children.

We want to be the catalyst for change for the teeth of Hilltop. Not only will we apply fluoride varnish to teeth, we will take this opportunity to educate parents and children about the benefits of fluoride toothpaste, floss and the dentist. We will teach about the devastation caused by pop, candy and cavities. We want our kids to succeed in every way - keeping them in school, healthy and out of the hospital.

With only a modest amount of funding, we can launch a major Dental Health initiative for truly desperate kids. We believe that with data collected from a pilot study proving that fluoride varnish is cost-effective, we can convince health insurers to step up and fund this preventative health measure permanently. The pediatric literature already confirms the benefits of fluoride varnish. We would like to demonstrate that with this simple intervention, patients will be more likely to schedule a dentist appointment and less likely to be admitted to the hospital for dental procedures. These are outcomes that would save insurers the costs of hospital admission, intravenous antibiotics and pediatric anesthesia. But without the funding to get started, this initiative will never launch.

Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (July 2012)