ST. PAUL, Minn., April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Dental Association's (ADA) Give Kids A Smile® program, ADA Foundation, Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSIC), and 3M ESPE Dental are teaming up with NASCAR star Greg Biffle again in 2012 to put good oral health on the fast track for young fans of NASCAR.
Across the country, Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will help deliver the message to children about healthy habits like brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist and making smart food choices. Unfortunately for millions of children in this country, these healthy habits aren't a routine practice.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tooth decay affects some 16 million children in the United States, more than any other chronic infectious disease, including asthma, early-childhood obesity and diabetes. Untreated tooth decay causes pain and infections that may lead to problems in eating, speaking, playing and learning. What's more, according to Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, children living in poverty suffer twice as much tooth decay as their more affluent peers, and their disease is more likely to go untreated. A disproportionate share of tooth decay, approximately 80 percent, is found in 25 percent of children, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Biffle also will take the important oral health message to Richmond International Raceway during the NASCAR weekend April 27-28 for a special Give Kids A Smile dental health screening and education event. A team of sponsors will host a dental health screening event at the Richmond International Raceway Midway on Friday. Volunteer dentists and other dental team members organized through the Virginia Dental Association will provide underserved children free dental evaluations, fluoride treatments and, if needed, dental sealants at this unique event. On Saturday, young fans and their families can participate in fun activities and education about healthy dental habits.
In honor of this special oral health program, NASCAR driver Greg Biffle's No. 16 3M car will sport a special Give Kids A Smile paint scheme during the 58th Annual Richmond 400.
"As a parent, you want to do everything you can to protect your children's health and teach them good lifelong habits," said Biffle. "When you consider how much dental health impacts children's ability to learn, self-confidence and overall quality of life, you want to do everything you can to help them be healthy. For children in need, it is even more of a challenge, so we're teaming up again with 3M ESPE Dental, the ADA and Henry Schein to provide education and free screenings and treatments."
The event also is part of the yearlong celebration of the Give Kids A Smile program's 10th anniversary in 2012. Fans can follow Give Kids A Smile on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GiveKidsASmile.
The yearlong education program includes a national public service announcement featuring Greg Biffle and ongoing outreach to parents and children through dental offices, community events and media. Throughout the year, there will be more than 1,600 Give Kids A Smile events around the country providing dental services to more than 400,000 underserved children.
"The special oral health screening event at NASCAR's Richmond Race Weekend underscores the deep commitment of the ADA, 3M ESPE Dental, and Henry Schein to raising awareness of the importance of oral health education and screening for children," said William R. Calnon, D.D.S., president of the ADA. "Given that tooth decay is a leading childhood disease, and one that is easily preventable, we firmly believe that it is never too early to begin oral health education and screening."
In 2011, 3M ESPE Dental, the American Dental Association and Henry Schein joined forces with Greg Biffle and 3M Racing to take the Give Kids A Smile program to the NASCAR audience. Together, they held an oral health care education event during NASCAR SpeedFest at Charlotte Motor Speedway last March, followed by an education and screening program that screened nearly 175 children and handed out oral health product and instruction kits to approximately 2,000 children during the Bank of America 500 weekend at Charlotte in October.
Stanley M. Bergman, chairman and CEO for Henry Schein, the largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners adds, "Our team of participating sponsors is focused on winning the race to increase access to oral health care for children. Leveraging the power of NASCAR and the popularity of Greg Biffle provides special opportunities to inform a new audience about the importance of oral health. The success of these events illustrates the power of the public-private partnership – the key to the success of Henry Schein Cares, our global social responsibility program. Together, we can make a powerful impact in improving access to care for underserved communities."
"3M ESPE Dental is proud to partner with these esteemed peers to provide dental care to children who may not otherwise receive this treatment," said John Stefanick, director, Industry & Professional Relations of 3M ESPE, the manufacturer and marketer of more than 2,000 dental products.
Now in its 10th year, "Give Kids A Smile Day" is the ADA's signature access to care program where dentists and their dental teams provide free oral health care services to children from underserved communities across the country. This year alone, more than 12,000 dentists nationwide will provide free oral health care through the Give Kids A Smile program. Henry Schein's U.S. dental business, Henry Schein Dental, has served as the exclusive professional product sponsor for "Give Kids A Smile Day" since the program's inception. Steve Kess, Henry Schein's Vice President of Global Professional Relations, serves as chair of the ADA Give Kids A Smile National Advisory Committee.
Visit GKAS Nascar - Henry Schein Dental to donate and order a commemorative No. 16 car which has custom replica graphics and a commemorative plaque stand. Proceeds benefit the Give Kids A Smile nationwide program expansion activities to help children in need of dental care.
About the American Dental Association
The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing more than 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The public has long relied on the valuable and respected ADA Seal of Acceptance when choosing safe and effective consumer dental care products. The monthly Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit the Association's Web site at www.ada.org
About the ADA Foundation
The ADA Foundation strives to improve human health through improved oral health. Since 1991, the ADA Foundation has disbursed nearly $37.5 million dollars to support such charitable activities. In addition to funding grants for dental research, education, scholarships and access to care, the Foundation supports Charitable Assistance Programs such as relief grants to dentists and their dependents who are unable to support themselves due to injury, a medical condition or advanced age; and grants to dentists who are victims of declared disasters. www.adafoundation.org
About Henry Schein, Inc.
Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC) is the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners. The Company also serves dental laboratories, government and institution health care clinics, and other alternate care sites. A Fortune 500® Company and a member of the NASDAQ 100® Index, Henry Schein employs nearly 15,000 Team Schein Members and serves approximately 775,000 customers.
The Company offers a comprehensive selection of products and services, including value-added solutions for operating efficient practices and delivering high quality care. Henry Schein operates through a centralized and automated distribution network, with a selection of more than 90,000 national and Henry Schein private-brand products in stock, as well as more than 100,000 additional products available as special-order items. The Company also offers its customers exclusive, innovative technology solutions, including practice management software and e-commerce solutions, as well as a broad range of financial services. Headquartered in Melville, N.Y., Henry Schein has operations or affiliates in 25 countries. The Company's sales reached a record $8.5 billion in 2011, and have grown at a compound annual rate of 18% since becoming a public company in 1995. For more information, visit the Henry Schein Web site at www.henryschein.com.
About 3M ESPE Dental
3M ESPE manufactures and markets more than 2,000 products and services designed to help dental professionals improve their patients' oral health care. 3M Health Care, one of 3M's six major business segments, provides world-class innovative products and services to help health care professionals improve the practice and delivery of patient care in medical, oral care, drug delivery and health information markets. The recently created 3M Digital Oral Care Department, part of the 3M ESPE Division, aims to accelerate and strengthen 3M's efforts to lead the digital transformation that is occurring in oral care. For more information on the complete 3M ESPE line of dental products visit the 3M ESPE Web site at www.3MESPE.com or call the 3M ESPE Technical Hotline at 1-800-634-2249. Products are available for purchase through authorized 3M ESPE distributors.
3M and ESPE are trademarks of 3M ESPE or 3M ESPE AG.
SOURCE Henry Schein, Inc.