Our Goal: $5,000,000
Early Smiles Program
California’s only full-service oral healthcare program serving students right at underserved public schools, reducing tooth decay by nearly 5%. Offering access, equity, and quality outcomes for all students. Currently supported by California Health Plans (Access, Liberty, Health Net). With funding ending soon (July 2023), Early Smiles seeks new funding opportunities to help fill growing oral healthcare gaps across California public schools.
Early Smiles Benchmarks
Early Smiles saves money and smiles with $47 Million in estimated savings to Sacramento County taxpayers, public schools, government, and families.
$1 donated equals $107 in oral health, screening, services
With the efficient use of resources and strong public school partnerships, the Early Smiles team can deliver $107 in oral health education, screening, fluoride treatments, and dental referrals with only $1 in donations.
33% reduction in future oral health care costs
Early Smiles interventions now save families costly in-office procedures later on. Extrapolating from data provided by the California Dept of Healthcare Services and CDC Division of Health, this amounts to $3.2 Million annually.
Reducing public/private cost of healthcare
Early Smiles prevents overuse of Emergency rooms for preventable oral health concerns (like abscesses, oral infections, and overgrowth of harmful bacteria). Our work saves healthcare systems and tax-payers an average of $13 Million annually, extrapolating from the National Children’s Oral Health Survey, Published research out of USCA, and the CA Oral Health Technical Assistance Center.
Reducing Missed School Days
Missed school days are common for children dealing with the pain of untreated cavities. Early Smiles interventions keep kids in schools, saving the public an estimated $25 Million annually, according to the National Oral Health Survey paired with Early Smiles annual screening averages.
Student needs shape our services
Local and national research paired with recent school partner and parent feedback reveals:
- Early Smiles programming delivered at school is, often, the first dental experience children have
- Low-income students and students of color experience higher rates of untreated decay and face unequal access to dental services
- Pain from untreated cavities leads to inattention at school, poor performance and social isolation
- Missed school days associated with oral pain costs families, schools, districts, and taxpayers
- Low-income families lacking access to dentists are more likely to seek costly Emergency Room care to treat preventable issues
- Healthy habits learned early-on increase oral health for students and their families
- Over time, poor oral healthcare jeopardizes an individual’s self-esteem and ability to form relationships and find work
Annual Impact by the Numbers
Our current $1 million budget funds Early Smiles services to roughly 35% of Sacramento’s elementary school students across 13 districts.
13 & 200+
13 School Districts and 200+ Schools Served
Students Educated on Proper Oral Healthcare
Average Student Screenings
Flouride Varnish Rates
Family Resource Centers Served
Pandemic service to 12,000+ children and family members