Help A Child Smile
Oral cancer is among the most common cancers in the world.
Dental disease is the most common chronic disease of childhood.
Help us tackle these problems.
Help a Child Smile is a student-led public movement working to raise early awareness about oral cancer and dental disease.
At HCS, we believe that it is critical to think not only of ourselves, but also of the larger-scale healthcare problems that affect us.
Our mission is to reduce suffering and save lives through prevention, education, research, advocacy, and support activities for oral health.
We seek to bridge the gap in oral healthcare inequalities among low-income populations and under-served communities.
Oral cancer is among the leading cancers of the world. Worldwide, over 530,000 new cases are detected annually.
Its incidence is increasing due to lack of awareness of risk factors and diagnosis late in development.
Pediatric dental disease is the most common childhood illness in the world, affecting 1 in 5 children. Access to care is limited making it the most prevalent unmet healthcare need. In the U.S. alone, over 17 million children go without treatment every year.
World-wide, the statistics are grimmer - oral disease affects half the world's population. It affects overall body health and has significant impact on communities because of pain, impaired function, and reduced quality of life.
The high incidence of oral disease and mortality of oral cancer is largely preventable through regular screening and early detection.
Early awareness and treatment prevents future problems and saves lives.
This is the heart of the HCS mission!
Our Three Pillars
Education: Our early education pillar raises awareness about the importance of early check-ups and preventative care by conducting oral health education seminars at childcare centers and elementary schools through teams of volunteers. In developing countries with high oral cancer rates, we raise awareness about high risk factors of betel nut and tobacco chewing, and excessive alcohol consumption. We stress the importance of early detection of oral cancer to save lives and connect people to doctors and the Oral Cancer Foundation for free screenings.
Prevention: Low income communities lack access to oral health care supplies. Homeless children often share toothbrushes and in poorer countries, many children do not know about the tools of basic dental hygiene. Through fundraising, partnering with companies and corporate sponsors, and creating a supply distribution network, we deliver free dental hygiene kits to rural and underserved areas, group homes, and slum districts. Our goal is to bring down disease rates through prevention.
Affordable Health Care
Treatment: One third of Americans struggle to access basic dental care and there is severe shortage of dentists who provide services to Medicaid patients. Families in rural and under-served areas have 4 to 5 times higher rates of oral disease and do not routinely see a dentist who is the front-runner for oral cancer screenings and detection. We connect them to accessible and affordable oral healthcare through mobile delivery units, charitable clinics, dental offices, and hospitals that volunteer their time and services to provide free and low-cost treatment.