Thanks to a unique collaborative effort that was initiated locally and is entering its seventh year, the Kansas City Chiefs and TeamSmile provide vital complementary dental services to local youth in need. As a result of the annual “Kansas City Oral Health Care Day,” TeamSmile and the Chiefs provide these dental health screenings and procedures, the value of which annually reaches the hundreds of thousands of dollars, for local under-served youth. Hundreds of children participate each year at Arrowhead Stadium thanks to the generosity of the Chiefs and TeamSmile. As a result of this program’s success, TeamSmile’s efforts now stretch beyond the Midwest.
“It is always one of the more special efforts we do as an organization and I am honored to be involved with it,” says Chiefs P
State-of-the-art dental services utilized at this event often include digital x-rays, no shot-no drill water lasers, tooth-colored permanent crowns delivered in 15 minutes and the use of electric drills which offer minimal noise distractions. As a result of this event, the participating youth have often received complementary follow-up office visits thanks to the continued generosity of the dentists that volunteer at “Kansas City Oral Health Care Day.”
“We began TeamSmile because we felt like we as dentists needed to step up,” noted TeamSmile founder Dr. Bill Busch. “I think it’s important that we help children that can’t afford to see a dentist. We’re very proud to say that this whole thing began in Kansas City with the Chiefs and it now reaches kids throughout the country. Our partnerships with other sports organizations that sprang up from this collaborative effort really afford us the ability to reach kids that desperately need these services.”
In addition to dental care and education, youth that participate in “Kansas City Oral Health Care Day” also typically receive additional surprises. Reinforcing the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, including the Play 60 ideals, these children also spend part of their day visiting the Chiefs Sports Lab powered by Blue KC. Located inside Arrowhead Stadium, the Sports Lab is a destination for youth of all ages. It features hands-on and interactive computer activities promoting the importance of being active in your daily life, good nutrition and healthy living. This one-of-a-kind educational center aligns with the Missouri Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) and Kansas Standards, Benchmarks and Indicators (SBIs) in Science, Healthy and Physical Education. The Chiefs and TeamSmile also often provide complementary tickets for these children to attend a future Chiefs game.
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, TeamSmile creates 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 not only receive free oral health education, screening and treatment but are also taught that the mouth and body are linked for overall health.
This is another example of the Kansas City Chiefs commitment to playing an active role in our community. The Hunt family has made corporate citizenship and charitable giving a priority for the Chiefs. Those efforts focus on organizations and programs which improve the civic climate in our region, support families and children in crisis, improve health and wellness among children, as well as preserve the legacy and history of the game of football. One way the organization supports these efforts is through Chiefs Community Caring Team visits.
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