Statistics show tooth decay in children and adolescents is twice as high for under-served families than those from higher incomes due to lack of education about the importance of oral hygiene. Tooth B.U.D.D.S. (Bringing Understanding of Dental Disease to Schools) was founded by a local dental hygienist, MiQuel McRae, to combat these issues and ensure children in the rural counties of Southern Arizona may receive professional dental cleanings, free of charge in their school setting.
“The generosity of this community has allowed us to bring our vision of in-school mobile oral health and education to life. Some of the most common, yet preventable, diseases in children start with tooth decay, causing them to miss over 50 million hours of school per year nationally,” said MiQuel McRae, founder and executive director of Tooth B.U.D.D.S. “One of the greatest threats to a child’s academic success may not be a lack of knowledge, but a lack of good oral health.” Furthermore, children in pain will turn to drugs to alleviate that pain. Tooth B.U.D.D.S. mission is to ensure that no child turns to drugs because of a toothache.
Thanks to the generosity of this community and residents who take advantage of the Arizona Tax Credit, at-risk students in the Graham and Greenlee counties will receive professional dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride varnish as well as Silver Diamine fluoride (stops active decay) free of charge at their school during regular school hours. In addition, Tooth B.U.D.D.S. goes into each class individually to teach children about their mouth all while making the experience fun. Each Child receives a water bottle filled with oral hygiene supplies to practice their new oral health skills at home.
Greenlee county has the lowest percentage of children having had a dental check-up in the last year, which is primarily attributed to the lack of dental providers in the area. Program recipients with additional dental needs are referred to local dental providers that have agreed to partner with Tooth B.U.D.D.S.
“Education is key when it comes to proper oral hygiene and overall health, so it makes complete sense that we partner with incredible nonprofits like Tooth B.U.D.D.S that work to educate and care for the youngest members of our communities,” said Allan Allford, chief executive officer at Delta Dental of Arizona. “The changes these grant recipients are making in the community is what our foundation is all about. We want to contribute to the success of our grantees for the sake of a healthier Arizona.”
The Arizona Tax Credit allows the residents in our community to have a say where their state tax dollars are spent. Please help Tooth B.U.D.D.S. help the children in Graham and Greenlee Counties and ensure no child turns to drugs because of a toothache by taking advantage of the Arizona Tax Credit. For more information visit toothbudds.org.
Tooth BUDDS is a member of the Graham Greenlee Tax Credit Coalition (GGTCC). The GGTCC promotes the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit, a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit of up to $800 for those filing jointly, or $400 if filing individually! You can receive this tax credit on your Arizona state income tax return by donating to a qualifying charitable organization. To learn more about this opportunity, and to view the full list of participating organizations in our area, visit www.grahamgreenleetcc.org. The GGTCC is administered by the Arizona Community Foundation of the Gila Valley and can be reached at 520-439-0595.