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California Dental Association Reminds Parents of Kindergarten Dental Check-Up Requirement

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Dental Association is reminding all parents that the May 31 deadline is rapidly approaching to have your kindergartener receive a dental check-up before entering first grade for the 2009-10 school year.

The requirement has been in effect for two years and with tooth decay being the most common chronic childhood disease, it is essential that children develop healthy habits as early as possible. Visiting a dentist early can prevent missed school days and potentially costly treatment. Good oral health habits at home, along with regular check-ups, are the easiest and most cost effective ways to ensure your child remains healthy.

"Baby teeth are very important - they are not just teeth that will fall out. Children with cavities may have difficulty eating, stop smiling, and have problems paying attention and learning at school," said Andrew Soderstrom, DDS, pediatric dentist and Vice President of CDA. "If cavities are not treated, children can become sick enough to require emergency room treatment and their adult teeth may be permanently damaged."

Even two years after this requirement went into effect, tooth decay continues to be a persistent health problem for many children. By the time they enter kindergarten, more than half of California's children have already experienced dental decay, nearly one-third have untreated decay and almost one in five have severe decay. By third grade, more than seventy percent of California's children have experienced dental decay.

Parents can find more information on the approaching deadlines, contact information for Healthy Families and Denti-Cal assistance and find a community clinic in their area on

The California Dental Association is the non-profit organization representing organized dentistry in California. Founded in 1870, CDA supports its members in their practices and service to the public through innovation in education, advocacy and related programs. CDA also contributes to the oral health of Californians through various comprehensive programs and advocacy. CDA's membership consists of more than 24,000 dentists, making it the largest constituent of the American Dental Association. For more information, visit

SOURCE California Dental Association
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