Dr. Hennette sets Give Kids a Smile Day for March 13

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

An estimated 20 children from Putnam County families will receive free dental services ranging from dental screenings and cleanings to sealants and fillings or more as part of the national Give Kids a Smile Day on Friday, March 13 .

Give Kids a Smile Day (GKAS) is normally scheduled nationally in the month of February during Children's Dental Health Month. The Putnam County date is scheduled to be less dependent on the potential for bad weather during February.

The Give Kids a Smile Program was inaugurated in 2003 by the American Dental Association (ADA) to provide care and raise awareness of the importance of access to dental care for low-income children.

Dr. John Hennette of Greencastle Pediatric Dentistry will be donating his staff and services for the 12th year. Dr. Hennette and his staff will be working closely with the Putnam County schools nursing staff to provide needed dental care for eligible children ages 4-16.

Only children who have been screened by the county schools nursing staff will be eligible for the available spaces.

Dental cavities (caries) are present in more than 60 percent of all children by age five. Recently, it has been reported that preschool children are seeing an increase in the percentage and severity of this disease process. It is a disease that is five times more common than asthma. It has been ranked as the most common reason for absenteeism from work or from school.

"Putnam County children are not immune from this disease process," Dr. Hennette said. "I have been involved with cases where the children are no longer able to sleep, eat or focus in school and have reached the point where the only alternative is a mouth full of fillings, crowns or the extracting of teeth that cannot be saved."

Dr. Hennette and his staff hope to continue to make good oral health a priority for all children in the community. They seek to educate policymakers and parents that good oral hygiene, diet and drink restrictions and routine dental follow-up visits are integral to overall health and preventive measures like fluoridation and sealants result in long term savings for families.

Families in the Putnam County area who would like more information regarding this program should do not hesitate to contact their school nursing staff. Space in the program is limited.

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