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Chris O’Donnell Wants Children to Keep their Smiles

Chris O'Donnell

Actor Chris O'Donnell lends a hand to Ethan McCarthy to help promote healthy smiles

DALLAS, Aug 10, 2010 / — As Agent G Callen in the CBS hit series, NCIS: Los Angeles, actor Chris O’Donnell fights crime every week in his reel life. In real life, he is helping fight tooth decay and cavities as the spokesperson of Oral Health America’s Smiles Across America® program.

Partnering with Trident® Sugar-Free Gum and Oral Health America, Chris O’Donnell who has 5 children in real life knows first-hand the importance of healthy dental habits for the whole family.

“The Smiles Across America program helps to not only promote healthy habits, but also provides critical dental care services through schools reaching those kids that might not otherwise have access. I’m thrilled to be joining this effort to help celebrate and protect smiles,” said O’Donnell.

According to a recent survey by Trident, each year, more than 51 million school hours are lost as a result of problems related to tooth decay, the most common chronic childhood disease in America. Yet, more than eight in 10 (84%) American parents don’t realize this.

Actors James Denton, right, and Gilles Marini, flank Marissa Jaret Winokur

Tooth decay affects approximately half of all second graders and nearly 80 percent of 17-year-olds. Despite this, nearly three-quarters (74%) of U.S. parents don’t necessarily consider tooth decay to be a chronic childhood disease.

However, many parents do recognize that, if left untreated, tooth decay can negatively impact a child’s well-being, self-esteem, or even concentration level.

The cause resonated with Chris O’Donnell, someone accustomed to striking a smile on many red carpets and being a father of 5 children.

Smiles Across America supports dental services for over 250,000 children annually in underserved communities nationwide. Smiles Across America pledged to deliver one million sealants, a critical preventative oral health care procedure for children, by the end of 2010.

The program has already reached that goal and has now raised it to two million sealants by 2020.