August 4 is Dental Awareness Day
Smileline Provides Free Dental Advice at Hotline and Web Site
Nashville, June 24, 2006
In conjunction with Dental Awareness Day on August 4, Tennesseans can call the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) SmileLine free of charge to get answers to oral health questions. The SmileLine serves as a resource both for those who cannot afford dental care and for those who may be embarrassed to ask their dentist certain questions.
Tennesseans can call the SmileLine, toll-free at 1.800.SMILE.33 (1.800.764.5333) on Friday, August 4, 2006 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT to speak one-on-one with a dental expert regarding oral health concerns. After August 4, questions may be asked 24 hours a day on AGD’s Web site on the “Ask a Dental Question” link at http://forums.agd.org/agdsmileline.
“Oral health is essential to overall health,” said Director of Oral Health Services Suzanne Hayes, DDS. “It has a big impact on our overall physical well being and self esteem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that although decay is largely preventable it is still the most common chronic disease of children aged 5-17 years of age.”
Caused by plaque, an invisible, sticky film of bacteria or germs that live on teeth, tooth decay is a widespread health problem in Tennessee and the U.S. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, tooth decay is five times more common that asthma and may lead to other health problems like heart disease and diabetes.
Daily brushing and flossing, eating a nutritious diet, drinking fluoridated water and visiting a dentist twice a year are essential to optimal oral health. The Tennessee Department of Health Oral Health Services offers programs to aid good oral health, including mobile dental health clinics, prevention efforts including community water fluoridation and school-based dental preventive programs, in which Tennessee is a leader.
In 2004, more than 100 public health dental professionals conducted 153,969 dental screenings on children as part of school-based dental preventive programs. More than 54,000 children received sealants on a total of 329,279 teeth. More than 70,000 children received comprehensive dental exams and oral health education programs were presented to 196,511 children at school.
For more information about Tennessee’s oral health programs for children and adults, please visit http://www2.state.tn.us/health/oralhealth/index.html. To learn more about Dental Awareness Day, visit the Academy of General Dentistry’s Web site at http://www.agd.org.