Special Smiles

The Special Smiles discipline of Healthy Athletes provides comprehensive oral health care information, including offering free dental screenings and instructions on correct brushing and flossing techniques to participating Special Olympics athletes.
Athlete receiving a dental examination and an assistant takes notes.
Patients with intellectual disabilities already face complications in finding and getting dental treatment. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made these challenges harder. Special Olympics Chief Health Officer shares her insights about these difficulties.
5 Min Read
Dental exam at Healthy Athletes screening during the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Attentive dental care is essential to an athlete’s overall health and well-being says Dr. Alicia Bazzano, Special Olympics Chief Health Officer, in a recent article she wrote for Dentistry Today. In it, she addressed how gaps in preventive care often lead to serious health issues for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
3 Min Read
Before and after photo of Cindy B.'s teeth
Cindy has spent decades building skills and confidence, as well as being a role model to people with—and without—intellectual disabilities (ID). Yet, she faced a common obstacle to confidence when serious dental issues led to her losing a tooth.
1 Min Read
Athlete trying on ski glasses as a volunteer shows him his reflection in a handheld mirror.
As local students made their way to lectures, athletes competing in the Special Olympics Sweden Invitational Games 2020 participated in free health screenings through the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes programme.
2 Min Read
Doctor Richard Perlman sitting for an interview. He has on an blue polo shirt.
Vote Now for the Dr. Steven Perlman Game Changer video for best public policy video
1 Min Read
Dr. Timothy Shriver speaking behind a podium at a CDC engagement.
Dr. Timothy Shriver represented Special Olympics at the CDC Public Health Grand Rounds in Atlanta on 15 October—a monthly scientific presentation featuring the important work that CDC is doing in the United States and around the world to protect people and save lives.
1 Min Read
A male athlete has his teeth cleaned by a dental technician. He is listening to music on his headphones.
Millions of Americans are without access to basic dental care. Moreover, an alarming percentage of people with disabilities are unaware of the condition of their oral health.
1 Min Read
a man with examination gloves on is performing a test while athletes and other individuals watch under an outdoor tent.
How important is it to get a second opinion? Ask any of the athletes who have received a health screening from Special Olympics. To date, Special Olympics has conducted more than 2.3 million throughout the world.
3 Min Read
Around 100 conference participants gathered in front of a large screen and Special Olympics branding.
What a year! Did you know that between 2017 and 2018, almost 90,000 people were involved in Special Olympics health and fitness initiatives across Europe Eurasia?
1 Min Read
James Pierce before and after emergency dental care.
James Pierce, a 42 year old Special Olympics athlete from Kentucky with Down syndrome, was recently referred to the Henry Hood medical center for care.
1 Min Read