Show Your Support: Five Ways to Give Back as a Dental Professional
Being a dentist is all about care. You care about the other members of your practice, you care about the medical and technological advances in your field, and you care about all of your patients. You care about Susan flossing more after her recent cleaning, you care about Marcus using that new mouthwash your RDH recommended, and you care about 8-year-old Johnny just plain using his toothbrush a few times a day. Caring about the individual is great, but when you want to show that you care about your community what options do you have? Here are five great ways to give back to your community and the community at large.
Make a Donation to Oral Health America
Reorganized as an independent and non-profit organization in 1994, Oral Health America has been behind a diverse number of oral health campaigns such as Smiles Across America, The Wisdom Tooth Project, and NSTEP (National Spit Tobacco Education Program). Always keeping the phrase “You can’t be healthy without good oral health” in mind, sending a donation to Oral Health America is a great way to show your dedication to the community at large.
Conduct a “Free Oral Cancer Screening” Day
For an impact on your local community, advertise an upcoming day where you’ll screen anyone for oral cancer free of charge. A lot of people are (understandably) nervous about the possibility of having oral cancer, especially those who smoke or chew tobacco, and drink regularly. Offering this service to everyone (not just your patients) not only shows your concern for the entire community’s wellbeing, but may very well bring in more patients after their free screening.
Support the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation (AACDCF)
Promote oral health and fight back against domestic violence at the same time with this charity. The AACDCF focuses their oral health efforts on “rebuilding the smiles and lives” of adults who have been the victims of domestic violence. By offering their services completely pro-bono, the AACDCF has treated over 1,400 victims of domestic violence at what would have been a total charge of $14 million. Show your support for these strong individuals and give a donation to the AACDCF.
Make a Donation to Healthy Smiles Healthy Children
Not surprisingly, cavities are far and away the most common disease in young children in America. Unfortunately, financial problems in many families often prevent the proper treatment of these cavities. Regular visits to the dentist and early treatment of cavities for young children is the best way to get them in a lifelong habit of great oral hygiene, and a lack of money shouldn’t be what’s in the way. Help kids around the country get ahead on their oral health early, and make a donation to Healthy Smiles Healthy Children.
Participate in Mission of Mercy
Mission of Mercy is a non-profit organization with no government funding that provides free healthcare to the less fortunate citizens of the US. While the organization is dedicated to overall health, oral health still plays a major role in Mission of Mercy’s vision. You can either donate money or your expertise to the program. Mission of Mercy is especially looking for dental professionals to volunteer at their clinics. Their scheduling is quite flexible and you’re able to volunteer even for just one day a month at a variety of their locations if you choose to get involved.
These aren’t the only ways to show your support for your community and the community at large, but they’re all a great way to get started. There are countless charities and creative ways to help out locally and globally. You could help raise funds for a local play, start your own charity, or host a community barbeque if your cooking skills are up to it. If you do host that barbeque, just make sure to send an invitation our way.