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  The Problem
  The mouth reflects general health and overall well-being. For the future health of the nation, it is imperative to change the perceptions regarding oral health and disease so that oral health becomes an accepted and automatic component of general health.

Here are the unfortunate facts:

  • A disease of the disadvantaged - 80% of childhood decay occurs in just 25% of the population.
  • School nurses ineffective - Unlike other infections, once a tooth gets decay, it cannot heal itself. If a child is in pain, only a dentist can help. This scenario strains school and family resources.
  • No relief for pain and infection - Access to care for most underprivileged children is very limited. If a child cannot be helped professionally, they will experience more needless pain and suffering plus complications that devastate overall health and well-being, as well as financial and social costs that diminish the quality of life at work, at school, and at home.
  • School districts lose attendance monies - Poor children have nearly 12 times more restricted-activity days because of dental-related illness than children from higher-income families.
  • Children cannot learn when they are in pain. This can affect school ratings.

    Now let's talk about the answer.


     


    Sources include Surgeon General's Oral Health Report 2005