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State bill looks to administer free dental care to children
Updated: 3/3/2009 4:59:54 PM
 

State bill looks to administer free dental care to children One state apparently wants the good vibes of the Give Kids a Smile program to last all year.

A South Carolina bill, if approved, will help improve the dental health of children who may be distracted at school because of a toothache or who may not have access to dental insurance.

The bill would screen children for dental health issues in kindergarten, third, seventh and 10th grades.

State Senator Ray Cleary, who is a dentist, told the Greenville News he hopes free periodic dental checkups at school will help prevent children from missing out on school because of dentists appointments.

"We've got children who are just not mentally alert or missing many days because of this issue. Our education in South Carolina needs to go forward," Cleary said.

Though the program is dedicated to assisting the state's disadvantaged children, the Republican said all parents would find the program helpful by catching cavities and other potential dental problems, according to the article.

Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease and, if left untreated, can lead to conditions such as heart diseases, according to the American Dental Association.

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