Eagle County Smiles helping uninsured children keep proper hygiene
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
During the month of February, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund is celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month as well as its 11th year of Eagle County Smiles, a program providing oral health treatment and education to uninsured Eagle County children up to 18 years old.
The Eagle County Smiles program began in 2010 and has served over 800 children since it started. Patients of Eagle County Smiles pay a $25 copay per visit, dental providers bill the program at current Medicaid schedule rates and give the difference in-kind.
Eagle County Smiles is an option for Eagle County residents up to 18 years old who are uninsured, or don’t have dental insurance.
According to a survey completed in 2007 by the Eagle County Department of Public Health, 40% of families reported difficulty accessing routine dental care. Thus, Eagle County Smiles began to provide a safety net to ensure uninsured children receive adequate oral health care. Eagle County does not have a free-standing oral health clinic to meet these needs; therefore, the program creates those services for the most vulnerable populations in Eagle County through a network of private dental providers, including: All About Smiles CO; All Kids Dental; Altitude Anesthesia Group; Avon Dental; CarePoint Anesthesia Group, LLC; Castle Peak Dental, LLC; Eagle River Dentistry, Inc.; Elevated Dental; Mountain Family Health Center/SBHC; Northwest OMS; Peak Dentistry; Pediatric Dental Group of Frisco; Pediatric Dental Group at Kids First; Vail Dentistry; and Zastrow Dentistry.
Eagle County Smiles promotes the other benefits that come with proper dental hygiene, such as preventing other health problems and less distractions from education dealing with physical pain.
The program is sustained with grant funding from local and state leaders such as Vail Valley Cares, Delta Dental of Colorado and Rocky Mountain Health Foundation, as well as individual donors.
For more information, visit vvcf.org.