Bright Smiles for Baltimore City Students

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Students at one Baltimore City School were part of a huge celebration that brought out the mayor and one of the Ravens’ most celebrated players this season.

As part of a 25th anniversary that has been bringing smiles to thousands of kids, Marcus Washington has more with more on the Bright Smiles Bright future campaign.

Both Mayor Stephanie Rawlings- Blake and Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. were part of the Colgate Bright Smiles- Bright Future Festival, which has been promoting healthy mouth hygiene for 25 years.

Students at Arlington Elementary-Middle Schoool, were joined by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and
Ravens’ Steve Smith, Sr. The “25 Days of Smiles” celebrating the 25th anniversary of Colgate’s Bright Smiles Bright Futures. The program started in California and Pennsylvania, as a pilot program to promote healthy dental hygiene. Over the years, the program has helped 25,000 kids in the US and 850 million in 80 countries.

“How exciting it is to be learning about oral health, but at the same time playing games that teach you about oral health or even see Steve Smith,” said Dr. Marsha Butler, with Bright Smiles Bright Futures.

Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. Served as an ambassador of healthy dental practices — something he hasn’t always done.

“My dental hygiene wasn’t the best because I had the lack of [access] and so I went to the dentist twice. Once when I was a young kid, and when I was 21-years-old,” said Smith.

Now, “I have a better smile,” he said.

“Wee find that a lot of kids don’t come to school, attendance can be low, because of health related issues. So, any preventative measures we can do are beneficial to the kids success,” said Emily Hunter, principal of Arlington Elementary-Middle Schoool.

This festival is part of a bigger push from the city to reduce health disparities.

“We want to make sure with the mobile van that Colgate has provided, that we’re bringing good dental care into our communities that need it most,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings- Blake.

“I’m going to tell them to brush their teeth every day so they don’t have rotten teeth,” said Arlington Elementary third grader Anaya Turner.

“If a child has a toothache, it’s very hard for that person to concentrate in school and that toothache can turn into a tooth infection that can even be life threatening,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.

It’s suggested that everyone brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes – twice a day, using a toothpaste with fluoride.

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