This year the ACFF Canada-United States Chapter ran its annual grant program where projects across North America can apply for a one-off grant to support them in their mission towards a cavity-free future. The Chapter has been awarding grants since 2016 and each year a wide range of proposals are submitted covering academic, healthcare and community-based projects. As usual, the judging panel had a tough decision narrowing down the applications.
We are delighted to share that two projects were successful in receiving grants totalling $10,000 USD. ‘Early Childhood Caries Prevention and Education 2022’, as well as ‘SMILE for Good Oral Health – Tear Pads for Indigenous, and Remote Communities’ were both successful in receiving the 2022 grants.
‘Early Childhood Caries Prevention and Education 2022’, was submitted by community-based Smiles on Wheels, a non-profit mobile hygiene program composed of registered dental hygienists and coordinators based in Michigan, USA. They focus on providing essential preventive oral health care services in schools, and other non-traditional settings. To date, they have served over 30,000 children in efforts to prevent tooth decay. Smiles on Wheels will be using the Chapter grant to collaborate with the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program to provide interprofessional and consistent access to dental services for children under 5. This will include providing regular access to dental hygiene care, referral sources for a dental home and pregnant mothers, as well as take-home tools including toothbrushes, toothpaste, and toothbrushing technique pamphlets. The outcome is for a future reduction in the number of children with dental caries in their primary molars.
‘SMILE for Good Oral Health – Tear Pads for Indigenous, and Remote Communities’ was submitted by University of Saskatchewan / College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan, Canada. They will be using the grant to expand their current ‘SMILE for Good Oral Health’ campaign which was developed by Eat Well Saskatchewan (EWS). The campaign provides a free dietitian contact service which educates caregivers on the importance of nutrition for early childhood caries (ECC) prevention. The grant will allow the campaign to expand further, reaching Indigenous communities who are disproportionately affected by ECC. A focus on working collaboratively with Indigenous communities at all stages, to both create and disseminate SMILE tear pads will be at the centre of this project. The tear pads will provide health professionals with an easy tool to spread vital information about accessing the free EWS dietitian service and improve knowledge about nutrition for ECC prevention.
A big congratulations to both winners!
If you are currently working on a project related to public health initiatives which focus on preventing dental caries then we encourage you to visit https://chapters.acffglobal.org/canada-us/grants/ for further information on the Canada/United States Chapter grant program and application dates for future grants.