‘Smile Power Week’ kicks off

Staff Reports • Jun 12, 2018 at 4:00 PM

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam, in conjunction with the Tennessee Charitable Care Network, proclaimed June 11-15 as Tennessee Oral Health Smile Power Week. 

To celebrate, Delta Dental of Tennessee will show off the power of smiles across the state by teaching how important a smile can be to a person’s health, wellbeing and self esteem.

Smile Power Week was created to promote healthy smiles across Tennessee during National Smile Month. According to research released in May by Commonwealth Fund, 13 percent of Tennessee adults 18-64 years old have lost six or more teeth due to decay, infection or gum disease, ranking the state 39th in the national study. 

“This data represents a five-point decrease in the number of Tennesseans who have lost six or more teeth since 2012, an improvement of 28 percent,” said Philip Wenk, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee. “While this is good news, we know that there’s still a lot of work to be done. For example, the number of adults who went without a dental visit in the past year increased to 18 percent, ranking Tennessee 43rd nationally in that category.”

Smile Power Week educates Tennesseans about the importance of oral health, and it’s an opportunity to showcase the important work being done in communities across the state by free and charitable clinics.

“Because there remains an overall need for dental services for people of all ages, we are grateful to Delta Dental of Tennessee for their generous support of our state’s free and charitable clinics,” said Mary Kiger, executive director of the Tennessee Charitable Care Network. “These clinics are dramatically improving the lives of patients by relieving their pain and often restoring function to the mouth.”

During Smile Power Week, celebrations will take place in dental clinics from Memphis to Bristol, and Marshall Molar, Delta Dental of Tennessee’s mascot, will visit patients at children’s hospitals in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Knoxville and Johnson City, as well as a special reading event with Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam on Wednesday at the Main Library in Nashville. 

“We are excited to launch Smile Power Week in Tennessee on Monday,” said Wenk. “Last year, Tennessee’s charitable dental clinics provided more than 25,626 procedures to Tennesseans who would have otherwise not received care. We know that the power of smiling changes lives, and we are proud to partner with dental clinics to help their communities smile.”

Visit deltadentaltn.com for more information.

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