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A community-based program designed to give initial care to children in need of dental care has been set up in Missouri for its young students and works to get youngsters into the dentist chair for early treatment.
Debbie Starke, executive director of the Eastland Community Foundation, which has partnered with the Missouri Oral Health Preventive Services Program, conducted a study into the needs of families in the area.
Of those families who responded, 37 percent said they could not afford or did not have access to dental care - thus leading to the formation of the oral health program that includes screening, education, prevention and referrals to dentists in the area that works in conjunction with schools.
Ann Hoffman, representative with the Missouri Oral Health program, said: "This program is available for everybody, but is designed for children with high needs. If the community becomes more involved in the success of this program, then they are much more accountable for their children."
The early treatment and prevention of tooth decay in children can improve their chances for good oral health in the future and instill the importance of regular check-ups with dentists as they learn to take care of their own oral health.
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