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NEW YORK — Colgate has partnered with actress, author and education advocate Danica McKellar for the “Smile for Picture Day” annual back-to-school campaign to better equip families with the resources they need to help their kids achieve a healthy smile.
During Smile for Picture Day, beginning now and lasting through October, Colgate's fleet of mobile dental vans will travel to more than 150 elementary schools, providing free dental screenings to children in need. In addition, Colgate's oral health curriculum reaches approximately 3.5 million children in all 50 states throughout the year, and more than 750,000 kids through Colgate's longstanding partnership with the Head Start program of the Department of Health and Human Services.
According to a recent Colgate study, a majority of parents believe a healthy smile can contribute to academic success — 83% recognize that maintaining good oral health can keep a child from missing school, while 43% report that a dental related illness has kept their child home from school.
Several studies have demonstrated a connection between poor dental health and low grade-point averages and, in some cases, children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely to miss days at school than their peers due to dental pain. In addition to encouraging proper brushing and regular dental check-ups, parents can download the "Colgate Tooth Defenders" app. This educational app is available for free via iTunes or Google Play and is specially designed for children in Kindergarten through third grade to help make fighting cavities fun through a series of games.
For more than 20 years, Colgate has been reaching children in classrooms across the United States with free dental screenings and education through its Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program.