The story of Ready Set Smile is found in the stories of the kids and families of Minneapolis who we serve.

Daniel had to visit the school nurse four times because of tooth pain. A dental therapist from Ready Set Smile determined that he needed a root canal.

Daniel told them: “My dad cannot take off work to go to the dentist, and my mom does not drive. I have no way for my parents to take me to the dentist.”

Ready Set Smile was able to connect him with a social worker to help get him the care he needed.

Or take the student council at a local school who—after seeing a hands-on classroom presentation by Ready, Set Smile about the effects of sugar—decided to kick-off an awareness campaign, with posters everywhere urging students to “Rethink Their Drink.”

As Ready Set Smile founder Adele DellaTorre says: ““We want to be the feeder to the clinics. It’s about access. We can take care of the preventive part. We can make it convenient for them.”

This access is crucial. Unfortunately, many children in vulnerable communities do not have regular dental checkups. Just 37% of children on Medical Assistance see a dentist once a year. Ready Set Smile is committed to changing that, by going to the schools and providing preventive care—for a 100% preventable disease—and classroom education to teach healthy habits.

Our mission to help them on the first steps toward a dental home and a lifetime of healthy smiles. And it’s working.

If you want to help with our mission—for kids like Daniel—you can volunteer, donate, have your dental practice sponsor a school, or Like us on Facebook. Find out how.