Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Giving Utah Children a Reason to Smile

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Media Contact:
Dr. Kim Michelson, DDS
Michelle Martin, RDH, MPH
UDOH Oral Health Program
(801) 273-2995

Giving Utah Children a Reason to Smile

(Salt Lake City) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says nearly one in four children between the ages of two and 11 have untreated cavities in their baby teeth.  Many kids who are enrolled in Medicaid receive no dental services throughout the year. The Utah Oral Health Coalition hopes to help a number of them through their annual Give Kids a Smile® events. Give Kids a Smile® is a nationally recognized event supported by the American Dental Association Foundation (ADA). Through the ADA Foundation's Give Kids a Smile program which was launched in 2003, more than 5 million underserved children have received free oral health services. These free services are provided by approximately 10,000 dentists annually, along with 30,000 other dental team members.  In Utah, there are multiple locations and dates of facilities and dentist participating in the event. Please visit http://health.utah.gov/oralhealth/coalition.php for additional information.

February is National Children’s Dental Health month, and experts say it’s a reminder that children of all ages need to be good caretakers of their teeth. Kim Michelson, DDS, State Dental Director, Utah Department of health, says tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children ages 6 to 11 years.  “The good news," Michelson says, "there are children in Utah that are cavity free.  With proper eating habits, good dental home care, and regular dental visits more children can be cavity free.” 

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