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Rams Partner with TeamSmile to Provide Free Dental Care

Posted Sep 28, 2015

Representatives of the St. Louis Rams recently partnered with TeamSmile to provide free dental care to over 300 students at Miles Davis Kindergarten Center in East St. Louis.

Representatives of the St. Louis Rams recently partnered with TeamSmile to provide free dental care to over 300 students at Miles Davis Kindergarten Center in East St. Louis. The group included cheerleaders, the club's mascot, Rampage, and staff members, including former University of Missouri star and 2015 NFL Draft pick Bud Sasser.

“This is the second year of an outstanding community project,” said Arthur Culver, superintendent for East St. Louis school district 189. “It’s one of the most important community projects that we embark on as a school district. Free on-site dental service; that is phenomenal and certainly a great need for our community.”

In the United States alone, dental care is one the most prevalent, unmet health needs of children. An estimated 17 million children in America go without dental care each year, according to the National Children's Oral Health Foundation. In addition, about one in three children ages 6-8 have had at least one cavity or filling, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“(Dental care) is the most neglected, unmet and needed health care service,” Culver said. “So we’re fortunate to have an event like this where our students can get free health care services as well as receive some education regarding healthy lifestyles such as diet, exercise and eating right.”

Before getting their free dental health care, students went outside and participated in Rams PLAY 60 activities. There were a variety of inflatables where students could throw touchdown passes or kick field goals. In addtion, there was an obstacle course, tackling drills and station where students could wear football pads, jerseys and helmets. The Rams PLAY 60 platform promotes healthy living among youth and encourages children to be active for 60 minutes per day and to eat nutritious foods. As part of the effort to emphasize healthy eating, team partner Prairie Farms donated milk for the event.

Once the students returned inside, TeamSmile was on hand to administer dental care services throughout the remainder of the school day. More than 300 of the center’s students received routine check-ups and teeth cleanings in addition to x-rays, fillings, extractions and other needed dental services.

“To have the right foundation for starting their school year and all of their education with proper dental care and treatment is truly priceless,” said Sydney Stigge-Kaufman, director of strategic partnership for East St. Louis school district. “It’s just making sure the kids are properly equipped so they can focus and have their attention in the classroom."