Global Health Nexus, Spring 2000

Ad Campaign Promises No More Cavities

NYU Dentistry's new childhood cavity-prevention program got underway in February with a series of ads in the New York Daily News, the New York Times, the New York Observer, and other city newspapers. The new Smile Team program will provide participants with free fillings if they follow the program's recommendations and still get cavities. The program is part of NYU Dentistry's larger Ask Your Dentist campaign to increase consumer awareness of the importance of early intervention and preventive dental services.

Enrollment in the Smile Team began on February 1, to coincide with National Children's Dental Health Month. Children enrolling in the Smile Team are examined and treated at regular clinic rates for any existing problems. Once they become cavity free, the children receive individualized preventive plans, including cleaning and fluoride, counseling on proper oral hygiene and home care, and regular assessment for orthodontic needs. Any cavities subsequently developed by the children will be treated free of charge.

According to Dr. Linda Rosenberg, who heads the program, "As word of the program spreads, more and more parents are embracing the Smile Team concept." The program has been featured on television on NY1 and WNBC.

The Smile Team is part of a comprehensive public health campaign conducted by NYU Dentistry under the banner of IMPACT, the Initiative to Mobilize Patient Advocacy, Concern, and Treatment. In spring 1999, the College launched a pilot program to inform adults about the dangers of oral cancer, to provide free oral cancer screenings, and to encourage consumers to Ask Your Dentist for regular oral cancer screenings.