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Washington Dental Service Encourages Dental Checkups as Part of Back-to-School Routine
Date:8/6/2008

Oral health is critical to a child's overall health; gives a good start in

school

SEATTLE, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- New-clothes shopping sprees and the anticipation of reconnecting with friends are time-tested "Back to School" rituals everyone is familiar with at this time of the year. If Washington Dental Service had anything to say about it, they'd add yet another tradition to the back-to-school custom: an end-of-the summer dental exam.

With more than 51 million hours of school time lost each year because of tooth decay and related problems, Washington Dental Service, a member of the national Delta Dental Plans Association, reminds parents to make dental check ups a part of getting their children ready for the upcoming school year. It is an easy way to prevent problems and give their children a perfect start to the school year.

"A thorough dental exam is part of making sure your child has a healthy start to the new school year," said Dr. Ronald Inge, DDS, dental director at Washington Dental Service and head of the Institute for Oral Health. "Prevention and early detection helps children avoid painful longer-term issues that keep them out of school."

Cavities remain the most common, chronic disease of childhood. A disease which affects how children learn to speak and chew food, damages self-confidence and causes missed days at school -- and can even result in emergency room visits. Left untreated, dental disease can be very painful, costly and lead to other serious lifelong health issues.

According to a 2005 "Smile Survey" conducted by the Washington State Department of Health, 59 percent of elementary school children here have cavities and/or fillings. Also on the rise among elementary age children is tooth decay in seven or more teeth.

Washington Dental Service recommends that children visit the dentist for two exams each year. In addition to maintaining regular brushing and flossin
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SOURCE Washington Dental Service
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