NASCAR driver Danica Patrick may live life in the fast lane, but that doesn’t mean she’s thrown health and wellness out the window. In fact, the 34-year-old, who fills her Instagram with photos of homemade paleo recipes and yoga poses, is a driving force behind “Healthy Mouth Movement,” a campaign to promote dental health care with a special focus on veterans.
Patrick first learned of the campaign through her racing team’s partnership with Aspen Dental. At the time there were talks of a “MouthMobile,” a 42-foot-long bright blue fully equipped dental office on wheels that would travel the country offering dental care to whoever needed it. Patrick was on board when the concept came to life and again when it changed directions.
“The program started out with the Healthy Mouth Movement and the MouthMobile and donating free oral care,” Patrick told FoxNews.com. “What they found was that a vast majority of the people that were coming in for care were veterans, and so the focus then shifted in 2015 to help veterans because they were the ones in the most amount of need.”
In 2015 the campaign partnered with Got Your 6, an organization dedicated to empowering veterans and strengthening communities by uniting veterans’ organizations and working to bridge the civilian-military divide. As part of that effort, Aspen Dental initiated the “Smile 4 Your Service” program, which is giving 1,000 veterans and guests a VIP experience at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 in Charlotte on Oct. 8.
Patrick will meet some of the guests before the race, which she counts as a perk of her partnership.
“Their lives are changed,” she said. “It’s really amazing to meet those people.”
Since 2014, more than 7,000 volunteers have helped deliver more than $6 million worth of free dental care to nearly 11,500 patients across 33 states.
For more information, visit AspenDental.com.