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posted on November 14, 2012 11:56

Panhandle Health District
8500 N. Atlas Road
Hayden, Idaho  83835


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        Date:     November 13, 2012                        

Free Preventive Dental Services Available for Teens

Hayden – Kids in middle school and high school from low-income families are invited to the Panhandle Health District (PHD) on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 29, for free preventive dental services, a movie, games and more.

Dr. Justin Rader, an affiliate dentist with the Dirne Community Health Center, and PHD dental hygienists will provide screenings, fluoride varnish, dental sealants, referral, education and needed dental supplies at no cost. These combined services typically cost as much as $400.

An Idaho Oral Health Initiative grant funded by the DentaQuest Foundation enabled PHD to organize a bigger dental party this season than in the past.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, according to a 2000 U.S. Surgeon General’s report. Nearly a quarter of the children in Idaho have no dental insurance.

According to the state Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, 93.9 percent of Idaho is designated as a dental health professional shortage area, a particular concern for teens.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, decayed or missing teeth can lower an individual’s self esteem and have an impact on social interactions, including attempts to find employment.

Dental sealants provided at the dental party are a plastic material that is painted onto the chewing surfaces of permanent molar teeth. The sealants reduce the risk of cavities occurring on the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Fluoride varnish is a liquid coating applied to the teeth with a brush. It dries instantly and provides a protective coating of fluoride that’s released over several months. The fluoride strengthens teeth and helps prevent decay.

PHD’s teen dental parties have proved popular with the public in the last two years. Dozens of teens with no access to dental care have received free preventive services and vouchers donated by local dentists for follow-up teeth cleaning and cavity fillings. PHD again has asked the dental community to donate vouchers for services to the November 29th dental party.

The dental party will run from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at PHD, 8500 N. Atlas Rd. in Hayden. United Dairymen of Idaho are donating snacks. PHD will decorate for the holidays and show a movie on a big screen. Teen participants will receive door prizes.

Appointments are needed for the dental party and teens will need a parent or guardian to sign a consent form for treatment. Consent forms will be available at the dental party and are available now on the PHD website,, under Children’s Services on the main menu and Oral Health under Children’s Services.

For appointments, call Linda Harder at 415-5143.

Contact:                                                                                                                               Released by: Lora Whalen, Director

Cynthia Taggart
Public Information Officer
(208) 415-5108
(208) 818-7288 (cell)