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Smiles Across Minnesota Expands Program to St. Cloud
Date:3/24/2009

School-Based Dental Program Targets Elementary School Children

St. Cloud, Minn. (Vocus) March 24, 2009 -- Smiles Across Minnesota expands its statewide preventive dental program to St. Cloud Area School District 742 public elementary schools on March 25. The program will help improve the oral health of low-income and uninsured children. Smiles Across Minnesota provides children ages three to 12 with preventive dental services - including cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants - right within the schools.

"When Children's Dental Services and Delta Dental of Minnesota brought the Smiles Across Minnesota program to us, we realized it fit the exact need of this community and ensures children in St. Cloud public schools have their oral health needs met," said Dr. Steve Jordahl, superintendent of St. Cloud Area School District 742. "Smiles Across Minnesota allows us to serve a large number of students who may not have access to regular preventive dental care."

Dental services will be offered to all students at participating schools and administered by a local hygienist from Children's Dental Services. "Preventive measures, such as education, sealants and fluoride treatments, have a long-term impact on a child's future dental health and well-being," explains Sarah Wovcha, executive director of Children's Dental Services and co-chair of Smiles Across Minnesota.

"Community based programs are cost-effective. Children receiving dental sealants in school-based programs have 60 percent less decay for up to five years. This program provides an additional tool that supports good oral health for students who are most in need. We anticipate serving 1,000 children in the first year, at a minimum," said Wovcha.

The program is for uninsured and underinsured children. If a family already has commercial insurance, those children a
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Smiles Across Minnesota Expands Program to St. Cloud
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