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

g habits, other tips to prevent tooth decay include:

-- Provide teeth friendly snacks like cheese, nuts and vegetables.

-- Talk to your dentist about sealants, a protective coating applied to

decay-vulnerable teeth.

-- Drink fluoridated water. If the water isn't fluoridated where you live,

encourage your town to fluoridate its water system.

In addition, parents of young athletes should discuss mouth guards with their dentist before returning to school sports, to prevent painful and expensive oral injuries.

Early prevention, of course, is the key and often should start very early in the child's life, according to Dr. Inge.

"Baby teeth are important to a child's long-term oral health and to his or her overall health too," he said. "Parents can get their child started on the right track by having their first dental exam by their first birthday -- and maintain a routine of regular check ups all throughout their school years."

Washington Dental Service and the Washington Dental Service Foundation have a strong commitment to reducing tooth decay among children through several oral health initiatives, including the Access to Baby & Child Dentistry program (ABCD); Cavity-Free Kids; and most recently, KC Kids, which provided $1 million to provide no-cost dental care to low-income children in King County.

In addition, the Washington Dental Service and Foundation committed $5 million to a new Early Childhood Oral Health Center (called ECOH), which will double the capacity of the University of Washington and Children's Hospital to provide dental care to the underserved in the community. The Center, located at Magnuson Park, is scheduled to open in 2009.

For more information on the importance of early, regular oral healthcare, visit the American Dental Association at ada.org.

About Washington Dental Service and Washington Dental Service Foundation

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SOURCE Washington Dental Service
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