Diseased teeth and gums are Utah children's #1 health issue.
To help address this crisis, Assistance League established Operation Healthy Teeth – a program that provides urgent dental treatment for vulnerable children in the Salt Lake area. Working together, dentists and Assistance League help kids, pre-K through high school, that do not have other means to access treatment. Dentists contribute their time and Assistance League contributes to cover expenses such as x-ray, amalgam, composites and chair side assistance. As a result, children receive the critical care they need to relieve pain and prevent further disease and infection.
Our goal: more smiles, healthy mouths and improved self-confidence.
Schools, qualified agencies and dental professionals may refer children to the program. To be eligible, a child may not have public or private dental insurance or be enrolled in another charitable dental program. Additionally, Assistance League volunteers promote dental health through:
- Classroom presentations for Head Start children: Assistance League volunteers, with the help of some very "toothy" puppets, teach 3-5 year olds how to brush their teeth. Each child receives a book about dental hygiene, a toothbrush and toothpaste to take home.
Our goal: encourage a mind-set of "I can take care of my teeth!"
- Booklets teaching newborn and toddler mouth and teeth care are included in the Baby Bundles layettes given to new mothers in need. The booklets are in both Spanish and English and are produced by the National Institute of Health.
Our goal: new parents learn how to take care of their baby's mouth and new teeth and dental health becomes a priority.