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Dental care top issue for children's healthcare
Updated: 1/14/2009 5:00:22 PM

Dental care top issue for children While some children are lucky enough to live in school districts with free dental care programs, many more children enter schools with cavities big enough to see without x-rays.

Arkansas children from Angie Grant Elementary School will be receiving free dental care this fall thanks to a mobile dental health program, the Benton Courier reports. Angie is one of 23 schools in the state targeted by the program.

Karla Neathery, district director of curriculum and instruction, said the program was brought in to combat tooth decay, the "single most common chronic childhood disease," according to the article.

"Locally, 61 percent of Arkansas children have evidence of current or past cavities. More than 51 million hours of schooling are lost annually due to lack of dental care among children," Neathery told the news provider.

However, not all children are as lucky as the ones at Angie.

John Fishburn recently wrote a paper for a graduate program at Case Western Reserve University and described the poor dental health of some Ohio's young children, reports.

"During annual third-grade screenings, school nurses report finding many cavities just with a flashlight," wrote Fishburn, according to the article. Approximately 38 percent of Ohioans are without dental insurance.

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