September 19, 2012
Participants in the YWCA's nationally accredited child care program recently received a special visit from "Al the Alligator" and the great staff from Smiles for Keeps Dentistry.
Originally located in the heart of the Woodlawn community, Smiles for Keeps was founded six years ago by local dentist, Dr. Roger Smith (the husband of a former Junior Board member) and Mary McSpadden with an overarching goal of providing quality dental care to children and teens in a fun and child-friendly environment.
Each of the children received a free, non-invasive visual exam of their teeth and a fun demonstration on brushing and flossing techniques that they were then able to practice on "Al the Alligator" and his other alligator friends.
In an effort to promote a proactive approach to dental hygiene at home, each child also received a packet complete with a toothbrush, floss, children's toothpaste and information to share with their parents.
"Dental health is one of the most important facets for overall health and is often overlooked in young children," explained Delyne Hicks, Senior Director of Child Care Services. "Smiles for Keeps presents dental experiences in a way that is educational and non-threatening for our children."
In addition to pediatric dentistry, Smiles for Keeps strives to educate parents about dental hygiene and the importance of a proactive approach to dental health. The organization primarily serves children in need with about 70% of its clientele receiving Medicaid. Children who are eligible for Medicaid receive treatment completely for free.
With the size of their clientele doubling in recent years, Smiles for Keeps has recently moved to a new Woodlawn location to better serve the needs of the community. The state-of-the-art facility located at 5500 1st Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35212 feature themed exam rooms including a flower shop, a petting zoo and even an ice cream room!
"Our business has grown because of our great community partners like the YWCA," said Mary McSpadden, co-owner of Smiles for Keeps. "It's been a wonderful partnership from the beginning."
For more information about the services provided by Smiles for Keeps, click here.
We would like to extend a big YW thank you to our friends at Smiles for Keeps for their dedication to the unique children we serve. If you are interested in supporting the work of the YWCA, please click here.