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3M to provide 3,000 introductory dental sealant kits for 2017 Give Kids A Smile

September 27, 2016

By David Burger

3M will donate 3,000 introductory sealant kits to the ADA Foundation for use during the 2017 Give Kids A Smile program.

The donation has an estimated fair market value of $250,000, and will help GKAS volunteers place more than 400,000 sealants on underserved kids' teeth in 2017.

Each sealant kit can provide about 140 sealant applications. One kit will be included in each of the 3,000 Henry Schein Dental professional kits distributed to those who register and are awarded products for GKAS programs in 2017.

In recognition of this and other contributions, the ADA Foundation has named 3M as the 2016 recipient of the Steven W. Kess Give Kids A Smile Corporate Volunteer Award in its annual Smile Champion awards.

The Smile Champion awards recognize outstanding volunteer and corporate efforts that strengthen and expand the Give Kids A Smile program. Lora Mattsen, executive director, Oregon's Multnomah Dental Society, is also a recipient of a Smile Champion award — the Jeffrey Dalin, D.D.S. Give Kids A Smile Volunteer Award.

The 3M contribution follows years of the company's support for GKAS, which started in 2011 with joint education programs reaching underserved communities in conjunction with NASCAR races, said John Tobin, director, U.S. sales and marketing for 3M Oral Care. "We leveraged 3M's NASCAR partnership to raise awareness of childhood oral disease," he said. 3M has for many years donated prophy paste and masks to the GKAS program.

"Dental sealants are a critical preventive measure for children," Mr. Tobin said. "Making this treatment available to children who might otherwise not be able to receive sealants helps 3M deliver on our purpose of lifelong oral health for everyone."

Mr. Tobin said, "Like the ADA, 3M closely follows the most current science on preventive oral health treatments. While current research clearly demonstrates the benefits of sealants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — as cited in The New York Times earlier this month — notes that '21 percent of children between 6 and 11 and 58 percent of adolescents have had cavities in permanent teeth. Yet fewer than one-third of those between 6 and 8 have sealants, and fewer than half of older ones do.' 3M believes that by expanding access, we can help partner in addressing this gap and continue to help improve oral health nationwide."
"Give Kids A Smile programs from around the country have been asking for sealant material for years," said Dr. Dalin, ADA Foundation GKAS Committee member and GKAS co-founder. "We finally can get people what they want."

Dr. Dalin said his dentist father was a big believer in preventive care, and he, like his father, is a passionate advocate of preventive care, including the use of sealants. "They are highly effective and a safe means of preventive dental care," he said. "A lot of kids will benefit greatly from this generous donation."

In August, The Journal of the American Dental Association published a systematic review and clinical practice guideline that indicated a marked benefit of the use of sealants in preventing and managing occlusal caries in children. The analysis showed that children treated with sealants have about a 70-80 percent reduction in the incidence of occlusal caries compared with children that do not receive sealants.

The Smile Champion awards presentation will take place during the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Volunteer Recognition Reception Oct. 20 during ADA 2016 – America's Dental Meeting in Denver.

Ms. Mattsen has been involved with GKAS for 13 years, she said. Her local GKAS program, which takes place at Oregon Health & Science University's School of Dentistry, as well as other locations throughout Multnomah County, annually provides education, screening and restorative services to hundreds of underserved children.

"I've made it my little baby," said Ms. Mattsen. "I have a passion for little kids."

The importance of GKAS is compounded by the fact that Portland, which is the seat of Multnomah County, does not have fluoridated water, she said, along with the majority of the county.

Ms. Mattsen's GKAS program includes pre-screening of children and the use of a mobile dental van before the GKAS program kicks off, so that treatment can be provided on the day of the GKAS event.

"Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to help provide so many children with the dental care and oral health education they need," said Ms. Mattsen. "It warms my heart to have so many volunteers come together every year to serve the children and families in our community through Give Kids A Smile."

The Foundation will celebrate GKAS' 15th anniversary in 2017.

For more information on GKAS, visit ADAFoundation.org/GKAS.