South Coast

KOBI Spirit of Community Moment: Ready to Smile

This year OCF is celebrating its 50th anniversary by sharing stories about the spirit of generosity in Oregon. This is Part III from KOBI TV’s “Oregon Community Foundation: Spirit of Community” series featuring OCF's Ready to Smile initiativeView the series.


As we continue to celebrate National Children's Dental Health month, we visit the Southern Oregon Coast. There children get preventative dental care and learn dental hygiene skills that will last their lifetimes.

Here’s another Spirit of community moment. Ready to Smile began in 2009 serving children up and down the Southern Oregon coast. Ready to Smile's achievements are truly remarkable. The program served 1,000 children through preventative dental care. Hundreds of kids didn't need dental fillings later on.

To put it another way, sealants that cost $53 saved families from paying almost $500 to treat a single cavity.

Melissa Freeman is the former director of initiatives and partnerships at Oregon Community Foundation. “The reason we got involved through Oregon Community Foundation is we heard from Educators and public health experts that children across Oregon, but primarily in the South Coast, did not have access to toothbrushes, had never visited a dentist's office. We made sure that a hygienist went to each school and was able to provide screening sealants, fluoride varnish and oral  health hygiene education, so that kids could really understand the connection between their overall health and their oral health”

Students continue to need these programs and the community needs to continue to support it. Today, the Ready to Smile initiative continues through AllCare and Advantage Dental. If you'd like to help make Southern Oregon a better place to live, visit Oregon Community Foundation at https://oregoncf.org/50.