Dental Tribune USA

ADA Foundation funds initiatives to help prevent early childhood tooth decay

By American Dental Association Foundation
May 24, 2010

CHICAGO, IL / NEW YORK, NY, USA: Infants and children from 10 U.S. communities will benefit from grants awarded this year by the ADA Foundation’s Samuel Harris Fund to help prevent early childhood caries, which affects more than 25 per cent of U.S. infants and children aged 1 to 6 years.

Sometimes referred to as ‘baby bottle’ tooth decay, early childhood caries is a rampant form of acute decay made worse in infants and toddlers by prolonged contact with almost any liquid other than water.

This can happen by putting an infant to bed with a bottle of formula, milk, juice or any beverage containing sugar, or allowing them to suck on a bottle or breastfeed for longer than a single mealtime, either when awake or asleep.

Left untreated, this decay can cause pain and impact a child’s ability to chew and speak properly.

This year’s Harris Fund winners designed programs that focus on preventing ECC, including an educational component for pregnant and parenting mothers and caregivers.

The following organizations received grants, sharing US$50,000:

  • Colorado Area Health Education Center of Aurora, CO.
  • La Clinica de La Raza of Oakland, CA.
  • Primary Health Care of Urbandale, IA.
  • St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation of Billings, MT.
  • Youth & Family Services of Rapid City, SD.
  • Children’s Dental Services of Minneapolis, MN
  • Community Health & Emergency Services of Carbondale, IL.
  • Dental Aid of Louisville, CO.
  • Geisinger Health System Foundation of Daville, PA.
  • New York University of New York, NY.

Established by the ADA Foundation in 1999, the Samuel Harris Fund is a permanent endowment, with a main objective of funding prevention and education programs to improve dental health of underserved children and to combat tooth decay.

The ADA Foundation is a catalyst for connecting people and changing lives. In its history, the ADA Foundation has disbursed nearly US$36.5 million to support charitable activities. These include grants for dental research and access to care, awards and scholarships. In addition, the ADA Foundation supports Charitable Assistance Programs, such as relief grants to dentists and their dependents that are unable to support themselves due to injury, a medical condition or advanced age; and grants and to dentists who are victims of disasters.

(Edited by Fred Michmershuizen, DTA)

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