As the 2015 NASCAR season begins, 3M has a new team member – NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon – leading the charge in his new No. 24 3M Chevrolet SS. Gordon also will be leading another important charge – to improve dental health for children in need around the country through 3M ESPE Dental, 3M Racing and the American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile® program.

Gordon is well known for his work with children around the world through Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, and now he brings that passion for children’s health to help educate more than 10,000 children in need through school-based oral health educational programs. For the past four years, 3M ESPE Dental and 3M Racing have joined forces with the ADA Foundation to bring the Give Kids A Smile program to underserved elementary school students and race fans in conjunction with NASCAR race weekends.

“This season, our No. 24 3M Chevy SS team is excited to partner with 3M ESPE Dental Products and the American Dental Association Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile program to help drive smiles and good dental health for children in need,” said Gordon. “When you look at the life-long impact that poor dental health can have on a young child, you see how important it is to help underserved kids learn good dental health practices. It makes an incredible difference in their ability to learn, to eat nutritiously and have good self-esteem.”

Friday, February 6, marks the national kickoff of the ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile Program for 2015. On that day, thousands of dentists will provide oral health services to hundreds of thousands of underserved children at treatment events throughout the U.S. More than five million underserved children have benefited through the Give Kids A Smile program since it was launched nationally in 2003.

Gordon will help continue the momentum throughout the year. 3M ESPE and the ADA Foundation will partner with NASCAR and the No. 24 3M team to deliver the message to some 10,000 underserved elementary school children in five race markets with fun-filled, high-speed oral health education events featuring the No. 24 3M Chevy SS team and race car. In addition, it will connect with millions more parents and families through dentist offices, health centers and national education outreach. The goals of the program are to eliminate cavities in kids under five and help under-served children learn smart dental health practices that will drive healthy smiles for the rest of their lives. As a father of two young children, Gordon understands the challenges that parents and caregivers have in getting kids to routinely practice good dental health habits.

“With good brushing and daily flossing, a smart diet and regular visits to the dentist, all kids can achieve good dental health,” said Gordon. “It’s all about brushing twice a day for two minutes. If we can sends kids home from an education event with that message, along with some tips to share with their family members, a great toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, we can get them on the right track for a terrific smile.”

"Working with someone like Jeff Gordon to bring the vital message of the importance of good oral care to hundreds of thousands of race fans is an exciting opportunity," said John Tobin, direction, U.S. Business Unit, 3M ESPE Dental. “And, we are excited to extend this education program throughout the entire dental community to reach millions more parents and caregivers. We are so proud to partner with other industry leaders to address this critical issue and drive smiles for children in need."

The ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile program, now in its 13th year, is an access-to-care program whereby more than 1,500 Give Kids A Smile events will be held throughout the year around the country, providing dental services to approximately 350,000 underserved children.

For more information and smart dental tips, visit www.ada.org/givekidsasmile, www.3MESPE.com, www.2min2x.org, www.MouthHealthy.org and www.Facebook.com/GiveKidsASmile.

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