Friday, February 15, 2019 – More than 300 Arlington Elementary School students, grades PreK-5, wore top hats and tiaras, bow ties and boas to walk the red carpet, pose for “paparazzi,” and shared how they keep their teeth and gums healthy at the 2019 Bright Smiles Kids Awards hosted by Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures. As the ceremony’s special guest, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr addressed the audience of students, community partners, and dental professionals, and presented awards to the classes whose projects best communicate the importance of maintaining good dental care habits.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Left untreated, dental disease can affect a child’s physical development in the form of reduced body weight and interference with growth. It can also affect a child’s attention span, school attendance, and academic performance, leading to significant implications for his or her social development and future success.

Bright Smiles, Bright Futures is Colgate-Palmolive Company’s children’s oral health education program and one of the most far-reaching, successful oral health initiatives in the world. Over the past 28 years, Bright Smiles, Bright Futures has reached more than one billion children in 80 countries with free dental screenings, oral health education, and treatment referrals. In 2015, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures helped to generate oral health awareness in Baltimore by dedicating one of its mobile dental vans to serve both the city and Baltimore metro area.