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Governor Rendell Declares Senior Smiles Day in Pennsylvania; Goal is to Improve Oral Hygiene for Senior Citizens

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today joined the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) and the Alliance of the Pennsylvania Dental Association (APDA) in recognizing October 5, 2007, as Senior Smiles Day in Pennsylvania.

"Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to an individual's overall health and quality of life," Rendell said in his proclamation on Senior Smiles Day. "More than two million adults over the age of sixty-five reside in the commonwealth and many of them do not see a dentist on a regular basis and would benefit from receiving educational materials concerning oral health."

The PDA and the APDA are collaborating today to reach as many senior citizens as possible with information on oral health care.

"It is so important for the senior citizens in our community to be aware of the preventative measure that can be taken to make sure they keep their mouths healthy," said PDA President Dr. Jon J. Johnston. "Maintaining good oral hygiene is a key factor in maintaining overall good health."

The PDA and the APDA will provide 1,300 Senior Smiles dental kits to senior citizens residing in Pennsylvania. Many of the dental kits are being distributed at two senior expo events, one in Plymouth Meeting and another at the Butler County Airport. There will be many other local events across Pennsylvania.

For example, Dr. Season Rose, President of the Lehigh Valley Dental Society Alliance, will be visiting nursing homes in Allentown and the YWCA Adult Day Care program in Bethlehem. "Our goal is to share an important message with senior citizens," said Dr. Rose. "The message is that, at any age, you need to take care of your teeth and mouth."

Rendell noted that the PDA also created the Senior Dental Care Program to offer dental services from member dentists at a reduced cost to adults over sixty-five who meet income guidelines and do not receive federal, state or other dental assistance.

"As Governor and on behalf of all Pennsylvanians, I am proud of the Pennsylvania Dental Association and the Alliance of the Pennsylvania Dental Association for expanding oral health education for Pennsylvania older adults and raising awareness in local communities to these oral health needs," Rendell said. "I encourage all Pennsylvania senior citizens to seek out ways to improve their own personal oral hygiene."

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Dental Association
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