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Kool Smiles Joins Governor O'Malley to Announce New Healthy Smiles Tour
Date:9/9/2009

and highlight the importance of children's dental health. With partners like the Deamonte Driver Dental Project and Kool Smiles, we can make oral health services available to Medicaid-eligible and uninsured children in Prince George's County and throughout the region; and reach out to kids just like Deamonte, ensuring that they will not be turned away from routine but potentially life-saving care."

Also in attendance was Congressman Elijah Cummings, who commented, "I am pleased to join Governor O'Malley to kick off the Healthy Smiles dental tour. Deamonte Driver's story is a shocking wake up call highlighting the failures of our health care system, and we must continue moving forward on all fronts to ensure that from this tragic death we are able to bring life. In order to truly effect change, we must work together to reach the goal of providing all children access to quality dental care."

The state of oral health among American children is alarming, as noted by the U.S. Surgeon General who called oral care the number one unmet health need in children. Dental caries (tooth decay) is the single most common childhood disease -- 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. Over 50 percent of 5- to 9-year-old children have at least one cavity or filling, and that proportion increases to 78 percent among 17-year-olds.

Following the Governor's initiatives to improve access, Kool Smiles opened 3 offices in Maryland, two in Baltimore and one in District Heights.

In an effort to help promote better oral health in Maryland's children, Governor Martin O'Malley has initiated a statewide initiative, which will educate children and their parents about the importance of maintaining their oral health, including obtaining a quality dental care home.

Kool Smiles, whose mission is to expand access to quality dental care for underserved communities, helped
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SOURCE Kool Smiles
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