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2010 Smile Survey Featured on KING 5 News

April 27, 2011

On April 27, 2011, KING 5 News featured the results of the 2010 Smile Survey and interviewed our ABCD Champion Dr. Lisa Block.
[Video will air after the commercial.]

The Smile Survey indicates that on the whole children’s oral health is improving. However, too many Pierce County children are still experiencing dental decay, which is a preventable condition. Another concern is the disparities in dental services. Racial disparities were decreased; however low-income students were more likely to have untreated decay and were less likely to have sealants than other children. There are a number of programs available in Pierce County to meet the oral health needs of children and their families including:

  • Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) securing dental care for Medicaid-eligible children under age six.
  • School-Based Oral Health connecting community dental providers with public schools to provide oral health services.
  • Project Homeless Connect, a one-day service fair for the homeless providing free dental services for children and adults.
  • Maternal and Child Health Program educates low-income families about oral health practices as part of home visiting programs.
  • Low Cost Dental Providers referrals.

Oral health plays an important role in the overall health of children and can impact the quality of their life both now and into adulthood. Sealants and fluoride are highly effective measures in preventing dental decay and protecting children from dental disease that can lead to pain, infection, growth and development problems, and poor school performance. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department hopes the Smile Survey acts as a catalyst to parents, education leaders, and community groups to prioritize dental health for Pierce County children.

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