NASCAR speedster Danica Patrick has launched a new campaign to give thousands of in-need Americans better oral health. Teaming up with Aspen Dental and Oral Health, the program is called the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community initiative designed to deliver free dental care to thousands of low-income communities across the country, spreading oral health education to millions more.
“Last year 100 million Americans didn’t visit a dentist, and millions more live in communities with little or no access to dental care,” Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, told Digital Journal. “This is an issue that affects a lot of hard-working people, including NASCAR fans, who are often living in pain. It’s time to do something about it, and that’s why I’m proud to partner with Aspen Dental and Oral Health America.”
Too many people live with gum disease – a problem that’s 100 percent preventable – and toothaches caused by cavities. These issues are a roadblock to staying focused at school and work, and can affect the body as a whole. After all, periodontal disease, or advanced stage gum disease, has linked diabetes and oral health together. Patrick reminds us that a healthy mouth paves the way for a healthy body.
Starting in February and continuing throughout the year, the Healthy Mouth Movement will drive to communities in 27 states, bringing dentists and team members to provide essential dental treatments to those who need it most – at no cost. To reach places where care isn’t available, the dental team has constructed a Smart Mouth Mobile, an entire dental office on wheels.
Education starts at home, and for low-income families in particular, the awareness of dental diseases simply isn’t there. Not only will the initiative provide dental care, but it will also raise awareness about potential risks, starting with oral health for kids. Studies have shown that people in low-income families are the most likely to develop oral health problems.
“The sad reality is that for many Americans, dentistry has become a luxury and not a priority,” Dr. Clark Downey, Aspen dental practice owner, explained to the source. “Every single day I and hundreds of other dentists at more than 400 Aspen dental locations across the country see patients who are struggling financially and have put off regular dental care. The result is that people are living with infection and pain, and it’s impacting their health and quality of life.”
Though there is no finish line in sight, Patrick’s team seeks to improve the oral health for kids and adults one state at a time.