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Dental hygiene and oral health have proved to be problematic issues in Florida, most prominently in parts of Alachua County and several other areas of the state. To contend with this health concern, a program has been established by the University of Florida's College of Dentistry and the United Way of North Central Florida to emphasize dental care among underprivileged Alachua children and families, according to the Gainesville Sun.
The news source reports that the program aims to focus prominently on parents, since they serve as one of the most significant influences on a child's behavior.
Programs like the UF-United Way alliance are viewed as significant resources, given the severity of the dental issues in certain parts of Florida.
A survey of third- and seventh-grade children regarding dental health revealed that 22 percent of respondents were unable to obtain dental services in the past year. Among that percentage, 37 percent cited high costs as their reason for avoiding dentistry. Additionally, 33 percent of those surveyed lacked dental insurance for their children.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, a total of 23 percent of children aged 2 to 11 in the U.S. suffered from untreated dental cavities between 1999 and 2004.
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