Smile Power Week begins June 11

by | June 11, 2018 8:41 am

Dental hygienist Barbie Lawson works on patient Matthew Wilson to ensure good dental health throughout his youth and into adulthood.

Oral health does not just consist of a fabulous smile; one’s mouth is the top indicator to someone’s overall bodily health. It is with the concern for the health of Tennesseans that Gov. Bill Haslam has proclaimed June 11-15, 2018, as Tennessee Oral Health Smile Power Week.

According to a research report released by the Commonwealth Fund, 13 percent of adults, in Tennessee, between the ages of 18 and 64 have lost six or more teeth because of decay and disease. Because of this statistic, Tennessee has been ranked 39th in a national study on tooth loss and gum disease.

“This data represents a five-point decrease in the number of Tennesseans who have lost six or more teeth since 2012,” says Philip Wenk, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee. “While this is still good news, we know that there is still a lot of work to be done.”

Across the state, there are free and charitable clinics that offer their services to people seeking dentistry. Smile Power Week seeks to educate people about the importance of oral health. According to health experts, having good oral health can reduce a person’s susceptibleness to ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, lung infections, and even Alzheimer’s.

Tennessee Charitable Care Network is an organization that works with smaller, non-profit charitable care organizations to help them facilitate their services to people who, otherwise, would not have access or the funds to pay for health services. In conjunction with Delta Dental, TCCN works to provide oral health care to Tennesseans.

“Because there remains an overall need for dental services for people of all ages, we are grateful to Delta Dental of Tennessee for their generous support of our state’s free and charitable clinics,” says Mary Kiger, executive director of Tennessee Charitable Care Network. “These clinics are dramatically improving the lives of patients by relieving their pain and often restoring function of the mouth.”

During Smile Power Week, celebrations will be taking place in dental clinics all across the state. Delta Dental of Tennessee’s mascot Marshall Molar will be visiting patients at children’s hospitals. In addition to this, he will holding a special reading event with First Lady of Tennessee Crissy Haslam at the main library, in Nashville, on June 13.

A list of charitable care clinics, who are members of the Tennessee Charitable Care Network, can be found on the TCCN website. Anyone wanting to find a clinic that may be offering dental services during Smile Power Week, can go their website at https://www.tccnetwork.org and contact them through their “contact” link or visit the “Find a Clinic” link at the top of the page.

“We are excited to launch Smile Power Week in Tennessee on June 11,” stated Wenk. “Last year, Tennessee’s charitable dental clinics provided more than 25,626 procedures to Tennesseans who would have otherwise not received care. We know the power of smiling changes lives, and we are proud to partner with dental clinics to help their communities smile.”

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