Special Olympics Special Smiles, presented by Drumright Dental, is a dental screening designed to provide athletes with oral hygiene education, nutrition education and free protective mouth guards for those athletes who compete in sports that may require such protection.
There is an overwhelming occurrence of poor dental health among people with intellectual disabilities. According to data collected from 9,000 Special Olympics athletes in 2001, 30 percent of athletes had visible tooth decay, 30 percent were missing one or more permanent teeth, 44 percent showed obvious signs of gingival infection and 4 percent had no natural teeth left in their mouth. (Information from Special Olympics World Games research.)
Families and caregivers recognize the importance of maintaining good oral health; however, the reality is that many individuals with intellectual disabilities go without daily oral hygiene care simply because it is too difficult to get the necessary compliance. This makes the access to reliable dental care even more essential.
The Special Olympics Special Smiles program offers dental screenings, health education, preventative services and identifies potential sources of treatment and follow-up care from community based dentists and educational institutions.
Special Smiles Clinical Director
Travis Burkett, DDS
Drumright Dental Center
1226 W. Broadway
P. O. Box 712
Drumright, OK 74030