Here at Spirit Dental, we’re always in search of ways to give back and do more to help others in need. Our latest initiative with the Smile Network is something that we are really excited about, and we think you’ll be too!
A Bit of Information on a Surprisingly Common Condition
To help families in need, we’ve collaborated with the Smile Network in order to do our part in providing free, life-changing surgeries to children in developing countries who are born with cleft palates and cleft lips. After all, we’re in the business of helping people gain access to the oral health care that they need, and we want to be able to extend what we do to people all over the world.
But wait, what is a cleft palate or cleft lip? Well, it’s basically a gap in the roof of the mouth or in the lip, respectively, that doesn’t end up closing like it should during the early part of a pregnancy. According to experts, roughly one in every 500 to 750 babies is born with a cleft. But there’s hope because, with the right surgery, a child with a cleft palate or a cleft lip could have their condition healed.
Unfortunately, for a lot of families who live in developing countries—where over 170,000 children are born with a cleft annually—the much-needed surgery to fix the cleft might not be an option. That’s because they either can’t afford the treatment or they simply don’t have access to the high-quality health care that they need.
What Is the Smile Network All About?
Smile Network International, which operates as a non-profit organization, is able to provide the surgery that restores the health of a baby’s mouth when he or she is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. By restoring the palate and/or the lip, a child is given the gift of a beautiful smile. How amazing is that?!
Over the last 15 years, Smile Network has been hard at work, completing over 70 missions and operating on more than 4,000 children in 11 countries. Impressive, right? We thought so too!
Our Direct Impact with Smile Network
Over the last couple of years, Spirit Dental has helped Smile Network continue its incredible work.
- In 2016, we helped two children from Lima, Peru by funding their surgeries. Naomi and Uziel now have perfect smiles because we helped pay for their life-changing procedures.
- In 2017, we wanted to keep going but we also wanted to go a step further. Rather than funding individual surgeries, we decided that we would give a donation with every dental plan that we sold to our customers. In this way, our company could continue helping Smile Network, but our customers were also involved in the effort. As a result, Spirit and its plan holders raised $2,000 to help change the lives of four children.
We’re Ready to Give More, and You Can Help!
We’re really proud of our Smile Network initiative, which is making an impact around the world, and we’re ready to do even more in the coming year and beyond. So here’s to working together as a team to bring smiles to children and their families across the globe!