Northfield—Tooth decay is the #1 chronic childhood illness in America and 1 in 5 U.S. children go without dental care. Many children don’t own a toothbrush or share a toothbrush with a family member. More than 40% of children have cavities by the time they reach kindergarten and children with poor oral health are three times more likely to miss school because of dental pain.
To address this significant problem locally, the Rice County Early Childhood Dental Network (ECDN) will host the third annual Smile Drive. Community members are invited to drop new and unopened donations of kid toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and mouth rinse to one of four locations in the county: the Faribault Community Center, KYMN Radio in Northfield (we have a box in our lobby) , the Northfield YMCA, and the Lonsdale Public Library. Marked boxes will be available at each location from February 14th-28th. Last year, 216 dental items were collected in Northfield and 98 were collected in Faribault. With new drop-off locations in Lonsdale and at the YMCA this year, the group hopes to surpass last year’s numbers.
Donated items will stay in each community and be delivered to food shelves in Northfield, Faribault, and Lonsdale. Other organizations in these communities who wish to receive a portion of the donated goods can contact Ellen Haefner, Rice Co. Early Childhood Dental Network Coordinator, at 507-664-3654 or [email protected]
About America’s ToothFairy
Since its inception in 2006, America’s ToothFairy has distributed more than $19 million in donated products, educational materials and financial grants to improve oral health outcomes for children and youth in need. For more information, visit AmericasToothFairy.org.