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Celebrating 10 Years of Smiles Across America

Smiles Across America® (SAA) always had big goals, but the program started out small by providing funding to the Chicago Department of Health's dental program in Chicago Public Schools. Ten years later, SAA reaches more than 400,000 children every year, providing grant funding, product donations, and technical assistance to organizations across the country that provide oral health care and education in school-based and school-linked settings. Find out how we're celebrating this landmark anniversary for one of our most successful programs.

An Evening Dedicated to Smiles Across Generations

Oral Health America is excited to have both a new location and theme for the upcoming 24th Annual Gala and Benefit. Taking place February 19 at the historic Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, this year's gala focuses on Smiles Across Generations, emphasizing how OHA's programs bring needed oral health care and education to Americans of all ages. Although the theme and location are new, this year's gala still includes dinner, dancing, exciting live and silent auctions, and a great opportunity to network with leaders in the dental industry. As a major fundraiser for all OHA programs, we need your help to make this year's gala our most successful to date. Visit the gala webpage to buy tickets and learn more about this great event.

The Most Important Lesson for a Healthy Mouth

Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day is the easiest way to keep your mouth healthy. Find out how Dr. Fresh LLC and its popular Firefly® kids toothbrush brand are helping OHA and Smiles Across America® spread that message in February in honor of National Children's Dental Health Month.

Advocating for America's Oral Health

The Wisdom Tooth Project™ has been busy making connections and forming relationships with dental and aging organizations across the country to lead the cause for oral health for older adults. Program Manager Dora Fisher attended the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and hosted a dinner to foster interdisciplinary relationships among GSA members interested in the oral health of older adults. The program is also starting out the year with four new state partnerships for Alaska Primary Care Association, the Delaware Division of Public Health Bureau of Oral Health and Dental Services, the Coalition for Oral Health for the Aging (Michigan), and the Wisconsin Oral Health Coalition. These partnerships will help us maintain up-to-date information on's state pages and helps publicize the great work of our partners on the ground. 

Where is OHA?

OHA staff members will be at the following upcoming meetings and conferences across the country. Please find us and say hello!

Feb. 20-22: Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting

March 12-14: Aging in America Conference, San Diego

March 15-18: ADEA Annual Session and Exhibition, San Antonio
March 27-29: Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting, Atlanta

April 10-13: 26th Annual Meeting on Special Care Dentistry, Chicago

April 28-30: 2014 National Oral Health Conference, Fort Worth, Texas

Click here for a list of donors who gave a gift to Oral Health America between December 17, 2013 and January 14, 2014. If your name should have been included, please contact Brad McLaughlin, Development Director, at or 312-836-9900.

From the President & CEO: The Need for SAA

With Smiles Across America® (SAA) celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, it is important to remember why programs like SAA are needed. SAA provides oral health care and education to children who otherwise do not have access to regular dental care. The War on Poverty started with President Johnson in 1964, but we have a long way to go to ensure that all of America's children get the start they need to succeed. Click here to learn more about the country's current war on poverty.
Beth Truett
President & CEO

Advocating for Oral Health

To support OHA's effort to change the lives of older adults by advocating for equitable oral health policies, OHA is excited to announce a new working relationship with Andrew Kaffes of A.G. Kaffes and Associates for 2014. Andrew helped build the congressional Oral Health Caucus from three members to 22 and also represents the Hispanic Dental Association and the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Throughout the year, he will help OHA track legislative initiatives and proposed legislation impacting older adults, help OHA develop relationships with aging-related organizations, and represent OHA at events related to older adult policies. Learn more about all of OHA's advocacy efforts here.

Saying Goodbye

Associate Director of Marketing Melissa Hoebbel is departing OHA for a position as Marketing and Communications Manager for Kerry Ingredients and Flavours in Beloit, WI. Thank you for all your years of hard work, Melissa, and best of luck with your exciting new opportunity.

In the News

The Columbus Dispatch cited OHA's A State of Decay report in an article about oral health care for seniors. and Dr. Bicuspid covered OHA President and CEO Beth Truett's recent award from the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Kids Smiles, a Smiles Across America partner, was featured on Dr. Bicuspid for its recent grants from OHA and Walmart.

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