February 8, 2019 - 2:04 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The Iowa Department of Public Health program which helps kids get the proper dental care held steady in the past year at a little more than 50-thousand cases.

Department oral health consultant Stephanie Chickering says that goes a little against past trends for what they call the “I-Smile” program.

She says they have helped a variety of different kids.

Chickering, who is a dental hygienist, says getting the kids to the dentist can make a difference beyond helping them prevent cavities and having a nice smile.

She says it not unusual to find a child who has acted out has done so because they had tooth pain or dental issues.

And Chickering says feeling good about your smile can help kids feel good overall about themselves. She says the program is paid for in part through state funding.

Chickering says there is a lot of demand and funds are always tight, so they try hard to make the most out of what is available. There are 23 I-Smile coordinators around the state who are responsible for working with children and families; dentists and dental office staff; medical providers; school nurses, teachers and administrators; businesses; civic organizations; and social service organizations. The coordinators work for county health departments or private, non-profit organizations to administer I-Smile in all 99 Iowa counties.

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