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San Antonio marks Senior Smiles Days

AADA kicks off local outreach program during the annual session

San Antonio—A proclamation by Mayor Phil Hardberger declared Oct. 16-19 Senior Smiles Days in the Alamo City—recognizing the Alliance of the ADA's outreach program that will reach 3,500 older adult patients this year at the San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic.

The Alliance developed the Senior Smiles program three years ago—with the help of its sponsors GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and Henry Schein Dental—to assist the ADA in reaching seniors with education and products to enhance their oral health.

"We've been providing care for seniors for more than 20 years," said David A. Phipps, SACDC executive director. "But the Senior Smiles kits are a wonderful thing. The kits are perfectly formed for exactly what we're doing. It's a real joy to be a part of this national program that will help seniors maintain the best oral health possible."

The San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic provides a full range of dental care to qualified low-income adults, and 45 percent of its patients are seniors. More than 60 dentists, 10 dental hygienists and 20 office staff provide volunteer services for the clinic, as well as the volunteer dental students.

The nationwide Senior Smiles outreach program, now in its third year, will distribute 17,000 kits containing dental care products and an educational booklet through 38 programs this year, from New York to Hawaii and Alaska to Florida.

"We appreciate the help of the clinic volunteers, including dental students, whose efforts will provide one-on-one care to seniors," said then Alliance President Janette Sonnenberg. "The Alliance is excited to support the ADA's oral health care goals for seniors by collaborating with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Henry Schein Dental and the San Antonio Christian Dental Clinic."