Special Smiles® is the dental health discipline and provides athletes the chance to take charge of their oral health.
Special Smiles offers comprehensive oral health care information, free dental screenings and instructions on proper brushing and flossing techniques. Special Olympics athletes also receive important supplies like toothpaste, toothbrushes and fluoride varnish.
Special Smiles screenings indicate a large percentage of Special Olympics athletes are unaware of the condition of their oral health.
Out of SONJ athletes screened:
- 45.6% have signs of gingivitis
- 16.8% have missing teeth
- 10.2% have untreated tooth decay
- 6.9% have mouth pain
- 4.6% are in need of urgent care
Looking for a dentist?
The New Jersey Dental Association provides a list of New Jersey dentists who see patients with special needs. This list will continue to be updated.
Special Smiles screenings are offered at Summer Games. After the screening, the clinicians will discuss the check up. Athletes will receive instructions for correct brushing and flossing techniques, as well as preventative supplies including toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouth guard.
Dentists can add themselves to the list of New Jersey dentists by filling out this practitioner form.
Interested in volunteering for Special Smiles? SONJ is looking for dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and students in this field to help athletes take charge of their oral health.
Criteria for Clinical Director
Please view the below document if you are interested in becoming a Special Smiles Clinical Director.
Current Clinical Director: Jim Delahanty, DMD
If you are interested in becoming involved in our Special Smiles screening events, please contact our Health Programs Director, Amelia Hamilton, ARH@SONJ.org.