10 Years of Building Smiles
The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile builds smiles one child at a time. This year marks the 10th birthday for the Care Mobile, and since it opened in 2006, nearly 6,000 children have received much-needed dental care.
The Care Mobile travels to schools and other community locations to provide dental care to kids who might otherwise go without. Many of the children who need dental care the most are members of families who may not be able to afford that care. Thanks to the support of Omaha, and our partnership with OneWorld Community Health Centers, those children can receive dental care at no cost to their parents. Plus, by traveling to school sites to care for the children, the Care Mobile makes it easier for them to receive treatments without their parents needing to take time off from work.
The need for a Care Mobile program is overwhelming. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease – five times more common than asthma – and an estimated 20 percent of all low-income children have never visited a dentist before entering kindergarten. Children miss more than 51 million hours of school each year because of dental-related problems.
The Care Mobile, which is 40 feet long and is equipped with a wheelchair lift, contains two patient examination rooms and a reception area. The vehicle has heating and cooling systems to enable year-round care.
During the 2015-2016 school year, the Care Mobile visited 26 schools and six other locations around Omaha to provide dental care. When the Care Mobile visits a school, it may take three or four weeks before each child can be taken care of, but they do not leave until that last exam and/or treatment is complete. These school visits will result in up to 70 children receiving care at each location. In 2016 alone, they have treated more than 700 children through 1,400 visits.
In total, approximately $1.7 million in services have been provided to children in the Omaha community over the last 10 years, and with your continued support, we can provide those services for another 10 years, to another 6,000 children.