Submitted by: Mark Boxer, group president, ACS Government Healthcare Solutions

As ACS helps states improve the quality and access of healthcare through innovative solutions, we’re also deeply committed to the communities where we work and live.

That’s why, over the past few weeks, members of our team have been at elementary schools in Baton Rouge, La., and Tampa Fla., helping to improve the dental health of at-risk and underserved children through ACS’ dental outreach initiative.

This program has been a hallmark of ACS Government Healthcare since 2004. At each event we team with dental professionals in the community who volunteer their time to screen kids for cavities and other oral problems, and teach them about the importance of proper dental hygiene.

You might be surprised to know that experts say tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Children from low-income families have twice as many cavities than their peers, 25 percent of children from these families have not seen a dentist before entering kindergarten and their dental disease is more likely to be left untreated.

In Louisiana, teachers say that dental problems are one of the two most frequently cited reasons for school absence.

Since the program began, we have helped more than 26,000 children receive screenings at approximately 75 events at schools across seven states and the District of Columbia. Nearly two-thirds of the children who have been screened had poor dental hygiene and one-third needed follow-up care.

We have more screenings scheduled in the coming weeks and months. At the events in Baton Rouge and Tampa, with the help of our kind partners, we were able to help many children get screened and to help remember why good dental hygiene is so crucial to their health.

Now that’s something to smile about.

Mark Boxer, group president, ACS Government Healthcare Solutions