How could cleaner teeth equate to free food for local communities? According to Digital Journal, Denver-area dentist Dr. Charles Barotz is giving away over $200 worth of free dental services to many residents in order to help bring attention to the needs of the local food pantry.
Dr. Barotz was concerned about two converging issues caused by poverty in the U.S. As a dentist, he knew first-hand the problems that could arise from delays in treatment for dental problems. Although about 50% of adults have periodontal disease, it is a treatable condition, and doesn’t need to threaten oral health. Left to its own devices, however, it can eventually lead to bone loss, gum recession, and lost teeth. Bad oral health has also been linked to later health problems, such as heart disease. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, over 30 million Americans are missing all their teeth in at least one jaw, if not both.
When Dr. Barotz then heard that 1 out of 6 Americans are going hungry — which includes 47 million children — he decided it was time to act, and concentrated on finding a concept that would help both local food pantries, as well as uninsured Americans who could not afford the co-payments on dental visits.
Dr. Barotz currently has a healthcare book available at Barnes and Nobles titled “The Power of a Beautiful Smile,” which has tips on how to maintain great dental health. Anytime someone purchases two copies of his book, the proceeds go to “Food Bank of the Rockies.” And for anyone who participated in the campaign, they would receive $200 in free dental care. “I could get the public to read about dental health and help the Hungry families and get people to actually do their dental treatments at the same time!” Said Dr. Barotz.
In order to participate, interested individuals need to buy two copies of the book online from Barnes and Nobles on June 26, 2014. Hopefully, people in need of dental care will contribute to the campaign, allowing them to not only receive free dental care, but help out a local food pantry, as well.