SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS: SENATE RESOLUTION 182CONGRATULATING THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION FOR ESTABLISHING THE "GIVE KIDS A SMILE" PROGRAM, EMPHASIZING THE NEED TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO DENTAL CARE FOR CHILDREN, AND THANKING DENTISTS FOR VOLUNTEERING THEIR TIME TO HELP PROVIDE NEEDED DENTAL CARE
Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, someone once said, "A smile costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those that give." I rise today to offer a resolution to congratulate the American Dental Association for establishing the "Give Kids a Smile" program.
This program emphasizes the need to improve dental care access for children. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Tooth decay can cause poor eating and sleeping patterns, decreased attention spans at school, and sadly, prevents children from showing their smiles.
Low income children are much more likely to suffer from tooth decay. Children who are eligible for Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program, SCHIP, are 3 to 5 times more likely than other children to have untreated tooth decay. The "Give Kids a Smile" program is helping these children.
Along with helping children get the dental care that they need, this program brings attention to the fact that this is a serious issue that children in our nation are facing. This program provides for and promotes education on dental care, good dental hygiene, dental screenings, exams and radiographs, and even gives sealants and fillings.
On February 21st, my State, Michigan, brought healthier teeth and brighter smiles to 12,800 low-income and disadvantage children. Nearly 1 million children were treated nationwide.
Dentists, such as Dr. John Buchheister, Dr. Sara Wassenaar, Dr. Dale Nester, Dr. Martha Bamfield, and Dr. Gary Schluckebier in Michigan, volunteered their time, resources, and services to give children dental screenings, exams, sealants, and fillings.
Nearly 8,300 children in Michigan also listened to dental education presentations by dental professionals.
I am pleased to stand here today and congratulate the American Dental Association for their leadership on this important children's health issue and for establishing the "Give Kids a Smile" program.
I also want to thank the Michigan Dental Association for participating in this program and I want to thank all of the dentists in Michigan and across the Nation that took the time to make the inaugural "Give Kids a Smile" day a great success. After all, "A smile can open a heart faster than a key can open a door."