The Mission of TeamSmile is to provide children in need with a life-changing dental experience through the power of sports.
TeamSmile is the nation’s premier advocacy group that partners oral health professionals with professional athletic organizations to provide life-changing dental care to underserved children in our communities. By partnering with professional sports organizations, we create an experience that develops bonds between children’s organizations, oral health professionals, surrounding communities, and the athletes that solidify the message that oral health care is vitally important to long-term health. Through this experience, children receive free oral health education, screening, treatment, and are taught that the mouth and body are linked for overall health.
No compromise. Our volunteer dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and educators provide the highest level of care. We utilize mobile dental equipment to see our patients in non-traditional dental environments, using industry-leading materials because all of our patients deserve the best in oral health.
We immerse ourselves, along with our pro-athletic partners, into the community. The linkage between athletes, dental care providers, and the community in need provides the inspiration and tools to make a difference in the total health and education of thousands of the communities’ most underserved children.
Continuity of Care:
Our experiences are more than just one day. The goal of each program is to establish a dental home for each child treated, helping to ensure improved oral health and wellness for a life time.
We create partnerships between volunteer clinicians, local dental homes, and families, based on our vision and mission placing the needs of underserved children first.
Communities We Serve
When selecting schools and organizations to participate in our programs, we assess communities based on the social determinants of health. The populations we aim to serve are at high risk for dental disease, have limited access to oral healthcare, qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program, and have lower socioeconomic status. TeamSmile invites all students at the school or organization to participate in our free dental clinic regardless of their insurance or economic status.
In the past few years, the serious even fatal consequence of deferred dental care in young people has received growing attention in the United States. In areas where economic hardship is at its highest, oral health care is not seen as a priority in the spectrum of preventative health care needs. A case where a boy died as the result of an untreated abscessed tooth brought this problem to light on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams. This story inspired people, including a Kansas City dentist, Dr. Bill Busch, to reach out to members of the dental community to find a way to make a difference right here in their communities.
TeamSmile was created with the mission of facilitating partnerships between dental professionals, pro sports teams, and dental organizations. The goal of these partnerships is to provide life-changing dental care and instruction to children in their communities who otherwise would not have access to it. TeamSmile believes education is key in making children aware of how important dental care is to their over-all health both now and into their future.
In 2007 the first TeamSmile outreach was hosted by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs organization promoted a one-day event where dental volunteers provided outreach services at Arrowhead Stadium. On this day, over one hundred children were screened, treated, and educated on the importance of oral health. This event has turned into an annual outreach program supported by the Kansas City Chiefs. TeamSmile has evolved from an event-driven concept to a formal nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of professional sports teams to draw at-risk children into their first contact with dental care.