Combating childhood tooth decay in Knox County

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) —The Knox County Health Department School-based Dental Prevention Program is hosting two host free dental health events at the Knox County Schools Welcome Center on Chickamauga Ave.

On July 9 and 12, those four to 21 years old will be able to receive several services including dental education, screenings, sealants, and fluoride varnish. To make an appointment or receive more information, call 865-215-5773.

“Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood, yet it is largely a preventable disease,” said Sarah Naill, a dental hygienist with KCHD’s School-Based Dental Prevention Program. “Tooth decay is more common than asthma and hay fever, and if left untreated, can cause abscesses, tooth loss, low self-esteem and weight issues.” 

According to KCHD’s 2019 Community Health Assessment, children with poor oral health are more likely to receive lower grades and miss more school than those with better oral health. A report from the Department of Health and Human Services states that chronic oral infections can lead to chronic pain, low self-esteem, diabetes, stroke, heart and lung diseases.

KCHD’s School-Based Dental Prevention Program offers free dental services to children from kindergarten to eighth grade in the schools with 50% or more enrolled students on free and reduced lunch. Participating schools for the 2021-2022 school year are available here.

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