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A Reminder to Parents: Early Dental Visits Essential to Children's Health
Date:2/4/2008

American Dental Association Kicks Off National Children's Dental Health Month With Outreach Events and Advice to Parents

CHICAGO, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- February is National Children's Dental Health Month. It's sponsored each year by the American Dental Association (ADA) to raise awareness among families and policymakers about the critical importance to children of good practices of oral health. And for the sixth year in a row, the ADA opened the month with its national health outreach event, the ADA Give Kids A Smile campaign.

Held this year on Feb. 1, Give Kids A Smile provided more than 51,000 dental professionals offering dental services to an estimated 500,000 underserved children at more than 2,000 sites nationwide, free of charge. Those services included educational materials and, where possible, free dental care such as: cleaning, fluoride treatments, cavity fillings and even more intensive care.

As tooth decay rises among the nation's preschoolers, the American Dental Association hopes that National Children's Dental Health Month and the annual ADA Give Kids A Smile campaign will serve as an urgent reminder.

"Oral health is such an important part of a child's overall good health, and yet it can be overlooked in young children," said ADA President Mark J. Feldman, D.M.D. "Good oral health practices should begin with an introductory dental visit before a child's first birthday. Children's teeth are meant to last a lifetime," Dr. Feldman said, "and with proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, children can have a lifetime of healthy smiles."

Dental Visits

The ADA recommends regular dental check-ups, including a visit to the dentist within six months of the eruption of the first tooth, and no later than the child's first birthday. Preventive care such as cleanings and if necessary, fluoride treatments, provide children with "smile" insurance. Routine dental exams uncover proble
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SOURCE American Dental Association
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