Crest holiday initiative gives the gift of a smile to people and communities who need it most

The disparity of dental care in underserved communities has heightened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People without access to dental services are facing ongoing health consequences, including untreated tooth decay and more intensive dental care needs. This holiday season, Crest – a Toothpaste brand in America – is excited to announce its “12 Days of Crest Smiles” campaign, ensuring some of the most deserving children and families have even more reason to smile bright this season.

In collaboration with A Special Wish Foundation, Crest’s first-holiday Smile Wish will be granted to cancer survivor, 8-year-old Alex Carico, from North Ridgeville, OH who has unique aspirations for when he grows up.

On New Year’s Eve in 2018, Alex was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk Neuroblastoma. In February 2020 after receiving treatment at the Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH, doctors declared Alex cancer-free.

Alex’s parents, Michael and Bill, said that throughout his treatment Alex always wanted to make people smile. In fact, his ultimate wish for when he grows up is to become a dentist. And as the official toothpaste of Santa, Crest is thrilled to make Alex’s smile even brighter this holiday by giving him the opportunity to take care of the world’s most famous smile.

“From a young age, Alex always wanted to be a dentist. He said that if he can smile all the time, there’s no reason why others can’t do the same,” said Michael Carico. “We’re so thrilled Crest reached out to make Alex’s holiday dreams come true with a special dental check-up with Santa.”

Crest is also partnering with organisations such as America’s ToothFairy, a nonprofit resource provider that has helped over 8 million children receive oral health care and education from nonprofit clinics.

“At Crest, we believe in the power of a smile, but know that for many it’s not so simple – especially during the holidays,” said Carlos Quintero, P&G Vice President, Crest NA Senior Brand Director.

“That’s why we’re committed to unleashing healthier and happier smiles, and as the official toothpaste of Santa, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate this holiday season than to grant these special Smile Wishes to Alex and so many others.”

The holiday magic will continue with eleven more Crest Smile Wishes, including:

University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital: In honour of the first Smile Wish recipient, Crest wanted to pay it forward to Alex Carico’s favourite doctor, Dr Lisa Hackney. Dr Hackney helped Alex keep his smile and joyful outlook throughout his treatment.

In honour of Dr Hackney and Alex, Crest will provide a US$5k/£3.7k donation to the hospital’s Family and Child Life Services Fund to go toward bringing on more smiles for the youngest patients within Rainbow.

Crest is partnering with JASA, the go-to agency that provides services and support to over 40,000 older adults in NYC every year. Through a US$5k/£3.7k donation to the JASAChat programme, Crest will allow more volunteers to connect with seniors via virtual video and phone calls to help make meaningful, smile-worthy connections this holiday season and beyond.

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