Smile Kentucky! and UofL School of Dentistry help improve smiles of kids

    Smile Kentucky! and UofL help give kids new smiles
    Smile Kentucky! and UofL help give kids new smiles

    Helping give children a new smile is the focus of a collaboration between Smile Kentucky! and the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.

    On Friday, Feb. 1, Bullitt County Elementary School children will receive free dental care at UofL. It is the first of three treatment days for nearly 40 children identified during the first phase of the Smile Kentucky! program, consisting of school-based dental education and screenings.

    UofL dental students, pediatric dentistry residents and dental faculty will meet the oral health needs of these children, ranging from basic cleanings and x-rays to restorations related to tooth decay. Those requiring additional treatment will be invited to return for subsequent appointments at no out-of-pocket cost to them and their families.

    This past fall, members of the Louisville Dental Society and other local providers completed dental screenings for 800 Bullitt County children in grades 3-5 through the Smile Kentucky! program. Children with no dental insurance or who have urgent dental needs were invited to participate in one of the three Smile Kentucky! treatment days. The first phase of the effort also involved oral health education for 3,600 children.


    Smile Kentucky! is a community partnership that tackles what the U.S. Surgeon General has called the number one common, chronic childhood disease — tooth decay. Established in 2002, Smile Kentucky! is considered a national model for community partnerships. Over 164,000 children have participated in the education programs, over 44,000 have received a free dental screening, and over 3,600 have received free dental treatment valued at $1.3 million. Visit to learn more.

    Smile Kentucky! is made possible by: American Dental Association, Avesis Inc., Bullitt County Health Department, Bullitt County Public Schools, Chick-fil-A Kentuckiana, Colgate Bright Smiles Bright Futures, Delta Dental, Louisville Dental Society, Louisville Water Company, Passport Health Plan, Prospect Goshen Rotary Club and UofL School of Dentistry.


    Julie Heflin
    Julie oversees digital content for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She began her UofL career on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2007. Prior to this, Julie was a journalist with WFPL (Louisville Public Media), and occasionally filed reports for National Public Radio.