Crest, congressional leaders unite to curb oral disease

National program improves access to educational tools, preventative treatments and oral health-care services.

CINCINNATI, Ohio--Crest Healthy Smiles, a national education and awareness program to improve the state of oral health in America, has commended Representatives Jeb Bradley (R-NH) and Tom Allen (D-ME) for introducing a bipartisan Oral Health Resolution number 722 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The resolution acknowledges that poor oral health can negatively impact quality of life, overall health and well-being, and general daily functioning at school, work or home. It calls for increased access to oral health care services and for improved preventative strategies to curb long term oral disease.

"Since the Surgeon General revealed a 'silent epidemic' of poor oral health in America in 2000, Crest Healthy Smiles has been working diligently to provide education, oral care tools and increased access to dental professionals to five million underserved children and their families each year nationwide," said Diane Dietz, General Manager, Procter and Gamble North America Oral Care.

"We are so pleased that policymakers have turned their attention to this important problem and have taken an important first step in addressing the treatment and prevention of oral disease."

The Congressional resolution is being announced as Crest Health Smiles marks its fifth anniversary this year.

Since its inception the program has served 25 million at-risk children and their families through partnerships with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the American Dental Association to bring children low or no-cost dental care; the creation of ten full service dental clinics ("Crest Smile Shoppes") in major cities nationwide; Crest-sponsored mobile dental vans managed by university dental programs in four cities nationwide; and an in-school curriculum that reaches 90 percent of first graders in the United States.

Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, resulting in a loss of more than 51 million school hours each year. African Americans and Hispanic Americans are especially at risk for oral health disease: More than forty-seven percent of all low-income African Americans and Hispanics have untreated tooth decay. Crest Healthy Smiles is working hard to reverse this trend, having recently enlisted hip-hop and R&B star Mary J. Blige and former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres to serve as ambassadors for oral health within these communities.

To learn more about how Crest Healthy Smiles is working to curb the epidemic of poor oral health in America, please contact Laura Brinker at (513) 622-4737 (brinker.le@pg.com) or Cristina Calzadilla at (212) 891-021 (ccalzadilla@devries-pr.com).

Additional information is available at www.cresthealthysmiles.com.

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