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Florida Department of Health and Boys & Girls Clubs Join Forces to Improve Oral Health in Youth with ‘Sealing Sunny Smiles Across Florida’ Program

Contact: Marissa Gleockler, Acting Vice President of Communications

By: Kate Capezza

FORT PIERCE, FL.: This summer, the Florida Department of Health has partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County to bring Sealing Sunny Smiles Across Florida to the Clubs. Designed as a school-based sealant program, “Sealing Sunny Smiles” emphasizes evidence-based prevention strategies to ensure optimal oral health for all residents of Florida. With the support of this initiative, more than 100 Boys & Girls Clubs members have already received free dental care, all within the welcoming and familiar setting of their own Clubs.

“The Florida Department of Health strongly supports early placement of dental sealants on permanent molars as a primary preventive measure to decrease tooth decay (cavities)” says Catherine E. Bridges, DMD, State Dental Executive Director. Once applied, sealants protect against 80% of cavities for two years and continue to protect against 50% of cavities for up to four years, providing critical dental defense to young people who may not participate in regular screenings.

Since June 12, Sealing Sunny Smiles has provided dental services to the Ken Pruitt, Chuck Hill, Infinity, Westside, and Windmill Point Clubs. During these visits, a dedicated team provided essential preventative services, offering valuable education on proper brushing and flossing techniques. Additionally, Club members received dental sealants and fluoride treatments as well as essential oral health materials, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss, ensuring they can continue their oral care routine at home with confidence. This comprehensive approach to dental care is promoting healthy habits and brighter smiles among our young community’s members.

“This preventive program aims to improve the lifestyle that involves good oral health in the children of our community. It also helps parents who work so hard and sometimes find it
difficult to take their children to the dentist.” says Kathia Perez-Gonzalez, Dental Sealants Program Coordinator for Florida Department of Health.

We are grateful for this program in reminding our youth of how important oral health is and how they can prevent their permanent teeth from getting unwanted cavities. The more “sunny
smiles” we see from our BGC Youth, the better! “We aim to provide our Club members and their families with a holistic approach to our world-class Clubs experience, helping them achieve Great Futures in all areas of life,” says Boys & Girls Clubs CEO Will Armstead. “Oral health might not be something that our youth think about, but fostering this positive outlook on dental care and educating our members and their families fosters healthy habits.”

For more information on the Florida Department of Health’s Sealing Sunny Smiles Across Florida program, head to

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