Kids In Need of Dentistry's mission is to increase the health and happiness of Colorado children in need by eliminating dental disease through treatment and education.
Vison Statement: KIND is the recognized leader in promotiong the oral health of Colorado's children in need.
Tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease of childhood - five to eight times more prevalent than asthma. The cost to treat early childhood tooth decay often exceeds $1,000 to $2,000 per child. If hospitalization is necessary, this cost is doubled. Although preventive services are highly beneficial and much more cost efficient for children, not all families can afford even basic dental care. In fact, 33 percent of Colorado children come from low-income families who cannot afford regular dental checkups and preventative care.
The need for children's dental care has been prevalent in Colorado for almost 100 years. In the early 1900s, a group of Denver dentists recognized the lack of dental services available to the children of low-income miners and railroad workers in rural Colorado. These dentists took action and formed Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND) in 1912 to promote the oral health of Colorado's children in need. These early dentists knew that not all families could afford to provide their children with quality dental care, so they began to donate their time and develop programs to help children and their families obtain and understand the importance of dental care.
Today, KIND is the leader in promoting the oral health of Colorado's children in need. KIND has provided high-quality, affordable dental care to children in need for nearly a century.
KIND in the Community
Today, the need for affordable dental care for children is still very real. To serve the thousands of Colorado children in need of dental care, KIND works with a network of more than 100 volunteers and paid dental professionals who provide prevention services, including exams and cleanings, as well as restorative treatments, orthodontics, and emergency care.
KIND serves thousands of children every year through generous support from foundations, corporations, individuals and dental professionals at their facilities in the Denver area and Colorado
Springs. The organization serves children in three facilities in Denver and one in Colorado Springs. KIND reaches out to children in under served urban communities through its Chopper Topper program that travels to Denver area elementary schools to provide dental screenings and preventive molar sealants.
Making Children Smile
Addressing the dental health needs of Colorado's underprivileged children remains KIND's primary mission. KIND aims to lower the prevalence of the tooth decay epidemic and increase the overall oral health of children regardless of status or family income.
Qualifying families pay a small percentage of the total cost of the dental services; however, no child is ever turned away based on their family's inability to pay. Each year, KIND provides more than $1.5 million worth of comprehensive dental care to children from low-income families throughout Colorado.
KIND's staff and volunteer dental professionals offer a standard of care consistent with American Dental Association guidelines. Families who qualify for KIND services can be confident their children will receive professional dental care and a positive overall experience.
All children deserve quality dental care and KIND makes it happen every day. To learn more about KIND, visit www.kindsmiles.org.
"One of the most important conversations we had as we developed Dahlia Campus, was about the importance of taking care of our children's teeth. We heard from parents and educators who were concerned about how lack of accessible dental care was getting in the way of kiddos' nutrition, academic success, and overall well-being. I am just so grateful to KIND because, with their help, we are preventing these issues from happening in the first place!"
Dr. Lydia Prado is the Vice President of Child & Family Services at the Mental Health Center of Denver