PINEHURST – Captain Fluoride has a goal: It’s helping to save young smiles.
The mascot for the FirstHealth Dental Care Centers will encourage others to do the same by donating dental care supplies during the Help Captain Fluoride Save a Smile dental supply drive scheduled for 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 20. Donations can be dropped off at three convenient Moore County locations:
- Harris Teeter, Center Park Plaza, Aberdeen
- Walmart, Aberdeen
- Lowes Foods, Highway 211, Pinehurst
The drive is sponsored by the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary.
Donated supplies will be placed in take-home bags and then distributed to children who get dental care at the three FirstHealth Dental Care Centers. Contents of the bags will include child- and adult-sized toothbrushes, dental floss and toothpaste.
Lesley Berkshire Bradley and Carol Ray of the MRH Hospital Auxiliary Board of Trustees are co-chairing the drive.
“A primary purpose of the Auxiliary has always been to support the health of children,” says Bradley. “Examples of this historical focus include funding of school gardens to teach young children how to produce healthy foods, contributing funds to a teen tobacco cessation program offered by FirstHealth Community Health Services and supporting efforts to make sure that underserved children in our community have access to proper dental care.”
“This inaugural Help Captain Fluoride Save a Smile Dental Supply Drive is exactly the type of project that fits within the Auxiliary,” adds Bradley. “Dental supplies such as toothbrushes and toothpaste are critical to pediatric tooth care, yet can go unpurchased due to the cost. A supply drive seemed like a great way to address this need and to create a sustainable community event.”
The FirstHealth Dental Care Centers in Southern Pines, Troy and Raeford have assisted underserved children in Moore, Montgomery and Hoke counties since 1998. The centers average a total of more than 1,000 visits a month while accepting about 100 new patients per month.
About 70 percent of the children seen for the first time at a Dental Care Center have either never seen a dentist or haven’t been to the dentist in more than a year.
The dentists and staff at the FirstHealth Dental Care Centers provide care for children from birth to 18 years who receive Medicaid or Health Choice or are uninsured and qualify by income level. Services that are offered include preventive dental sealants, cleanings and exams, white and silver fillings, extractions and spacers.
"We are extremely grateful to Harris Teeter, Walmart and Lowes Foods for agreeing to be host sites for the supply drives,” says Ray. “The business community has been very generous in contributing to our efforts. We would also like to thank Muirfield Broadcasting, Lowes Home Improvement and Sandhill Signs for their support and generosity.”
For more information on the Dental Care Centers or the Dental Care Supply Drive, please contact Carol Ray at (910) 215-9658 or Lesley Berkshire Bradley at (910) 603-8509 or visit www.firsthealth.org.