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Delta Dental Financial Support Helps ODA Members Serve Children in Need
Date:1/21/2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A $7,000 grant awarded by the Delta Dental Fund will help fund educational materials and Toothprint impressions provided by Ohio Dental Association members to Ohio children for the sixth annual Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) day. GKAS is a children's access to dental care event in which dentists and other volunteers provide free dental services to underserved children. This year's event kicks off February 1, 2008, with many events held throughout the year.

Dr. Henry Fields, president of the Ohio Dental Association, said Delta Dental's commitment to helping educate children and parents helps dentistry spread the very important message that maintaining good oral health will positively impact good overall health. Fields said Delta's assistance will help address the bigger picture in preventing dental disease around Ohio during annual Give Kids A Smile activities. "One of our partners in dental health, Delta Dental, has provided us with support for Give Kids A Smile day by again graciously and generously underwriting some of our efforts," Fields said.

Part of the grant awarded by Delta Dental will enable hundreds of Ohio children to receive Toothprints. Toothprints, because of the unique properties of a child's biteprint, can be used as a means of identification in the unfortunate circumstance of an unidentified child.

The grant will also help cover the cost of the ODA booklet "Brushing up on Smiles," which educates parents on why children should routinely see a dentist and establish a dental home. The booklet also covers the causes of cavities and the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene, and explains who patients see during dental office visits. This booklet is also available online at http://www.oda.org/upload/brushingup.pdf.

"Hopefully, our efforts during Give Kids a Smile day will not only address dental decay in children, but also make steps toward preventing further problems with timely parental education," said Fields. "We are always more cost effective when we can prevent disease."

Nancy E. Hostetler, senior vice president of the Delta Dental Foundation, applauds the efforts of the ODA, Ohio dentists and other volunteers for their ongoing commitment to GKAS.

"Each year, this program reaches out to thousands of Ohio children to improve their oral health through parent education, and it also gives parents peace of mind by offering Toothprint bite impressions," Hostetler said. "We are so proud to again support this worthwhile effort."

More than $1.1 million in free dental services is expected to be provided to nearly 18,000 Ohio children by over 1,800 dental volunteers on behalf of Give Kids a Smile day in February and throughout the year.

In addition to services and materials provided by the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association and the Delta Dental Foundation, national support is provided by Colgate, Sullivan-Schein Dental, U.S. dental division of Henry Schein and Dexis Digital X-ray Systems, Inc. The newest sponsor, DenTrek Oral Care Inc., provided 150,000 flossers to GKAS programs nationally.


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SOURCE Ohio Dental Association
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