Grantee Spotlight – Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND)
Kids In Need of Dentistry (KIND) is a nonprofit organization that provides low-cost, high-quality dental treatment and education to children in need throughout Colorado. Since 1912, KIND has helped thousands of children each year get the dental services they need at a cost their families can afford. KIND is committed to providing dental care that is respectful of and responsive to the specific cultural needs of the communities they serve.
KIND’s mission is to increase the oral health and happiness of Colorado children in need by eliminating dental disease through treatment and education.
Goals of KIND
Improve perceptions of dental care, in order to improve behaviors, by embedding oral health as integral to a child’s overall well-being.
Increase health equity for youth in under-served communities by providing dental care that utilizes innovative and collaborative models.
Empower dental health advocacy in and by the communities KIND serves through education and activation of stakeholders
Why RMA Chooses to Support KIND
KIND is unique in that they provide services for all children, insured or not, they will not turn any child away. They are the only organization that also provides orthodontic care to uninsured patients. Since 1998, KIND has partnered with Denver area elementary schools to provide its Chopper Topper program for children with limited access to dental care. This mobile dental sealant program travels to Denver area elementary schools with student populations of 50 percent or more qualifying for the free or reduced lunch program to provide dental screenings, preventive dental sealants, oral health education, and referrals at no cost. KIND visits 3-4 school per week, over 100 schools each year. In 2017, KIND provided nearly $700,000 in dental work and were able to provide over a million dollars in services in 2019.
What we Learned on our Site Visit with KIND
When we visited with KIND we were able to talk with their dentist. KIND has one full-time dentist, three dental hygienists and over 70 volunteers. One story in particular that they shared left quite an impact. KIND provides toothpaste and toothbrush goodie bags at local schools. One little girl was beaming with excitement, she told the KIND volunteer that this is the first time she had ever had her own toothbrush.
There is such an important need for knowledge of the importance of dental hygiene and this organization works to promote that and offer those services. Research has shown that dental sealants, when retained intact, are nearly 100% effective in preventing dental decay in permanent molar teeth, especially when used in combination with other preventive measures such as fluoride, and regular brushing. Placing dental sealants on children’s teeth protects the tooth enamel from the acids that cause tooth decay.
They hope to be able to extend their office hours, providing services on more days and in the evening for those patients that cannot make it during the day. KIND also wants to focus more on community outreach and preventative care. By educating the community about the importance of basic dental health and getting them services from KIND earlier, can help their children avoid serious dental issues and costly dental procedures down the road.
Plans for the RMA Grant They Received
KIND plans to use the funds from RMA to continue to provide dental care to children in Denver. They also plan to put funds towards their KINDCares Community Education and Outreach Program, which screens children for oral health issues.
Learn more about KIND - https://kindsmiles.org/
KIND is just one of the many organizations that RMA chooses to support. We hope to grant even more money to these types of organizations in 2020. Show your support for RMA and donate today!