Special Olympics - Special Smiles

Annually, IUSD volunteer students, faculty and alumni join hands with Special Olympics to provide oral screening, counseling, referral, and mouth guards. Special Olympics Special Smiles, is part of the Healthy Athletes program which was created to focus attention on the overall health issues facing Special Olympics athletes.

The Special Olympics Indiana State Games occur early in June and attract more than 2,500 athletes. The SEAL INDIANA mobile unit is taken to Terre Haute and becomes a part of Olympic Town where the Healthy Athletes events occur. A representative of Indiana Donated Dental Services provides information about access to dental services at no cost for people with disabilities who have low-income.

One of the primary objectives of Special Smiles is to increase the number of dental professionals who will serve people with intellectual disabilities in their practices and clinics. This is accomplished by encouraging dental students as well as practicing dentists to conduct screenings at Special Smiles events. Information is gathered about the oral health of the athletes who receive a dental screening and it is complied for analysis to provide a profile of the oral health of a sample of this population.