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Give Kids a Smile program offers dental care for children
Updated: 1/20/2011 7:00:04 PM

The Give Kids a Smile Program serves needy children once a year nationwide. This year Ohio's dentists are expected to offer multiple Give Kids a Smile events and follow-up services. The program has evolved into a large-scale, even multiple-day event in some communities.

The dentists will provide cleanings, exams, restorative care and even oral surgery, services worth nearly $1 million, to over 19,000 children.

Dr. Thomas Matanzo, president of the Ohio Dental Association, emphasized that "their quest is as much to educate the families, communities and policy makers on the importance of maintaining good oral health as it is to keep our children pain-free and in good oral health."

Maintaining child dental health is an imperative issue for parents. Teaching their children appropriate brushing and flossing techniques will help them grow up to have consistently good oral care habits.

Even with these measures in place, children must see a dentist regularly, and unfortunately this option is not always available for the under-served.

The American Dental Association has long supported increasing child dental care services for low income children, and for this reason began the Give Kids a Smile program eight years ago. On February 4th, dentists join resources with dental companies and volunteers to open temporary clinics in dental offices and schools, and on public fairgrounds.

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