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A popular program that teaches dental health education and proper brushing and flossing habits to children in Solano County, California is facing drastic cutbacks in current budget proposals made by the financially strapped state, according to an article in the ContraCosta Times.
The county's Smile In Style program has helped provide dental care for large populations of low-income students since 1980, but public health workers tell the Times that the cuts could impact thousands of children without dental insurance.
"It's really a huge safety net," said Robin Cox, health education manager for Solano County. "It's the only program of its kind that provides oral health education to school-aged children. My biggest fear is that their overall health could suffer."
Under current budget proposals, the program could lose nearly $350,000 from its budget, provoking a drastic reduction in services.
The danger is that reductions in the preventative services Smile In Style provides could cost taxpayers more money when they must provide more expensive care later.
"With fewer people having healthcare and dental insurance these days," Cox said, "for a lot of these children we are the only safety net they have."
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