Dental Awareness Day set for Friday January 31

Jan. 30, 2003
Free service helps answer difficult or embarrasing questions.

Nagging molar making you irritable? Afraid of visiting the dentist? To help educate the public on dental health issues, members of the Massachusetts Academy of General Dentistry are hosting
the SmileLine, a toll-free dental health hotline that consumers can call to talk one-on-one with a dentist.

During Dental Awareness Day on Friday, January 31, 2003, consumers can get dental advice from members of the Massachusetts Academy of General Dentistry and Massachusetts Dental Society. Held during the Yankee Dental Congress 28,
anyone with questions or concerns about oral health can call the
SmileLine, toll-free, at 1-800-SMILE-33 (1-800-764-5333) from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.

Advice given during the SmileLine, celebrating its 12th anniversary this year, has helped put more than 14,500 consumers' dental questions and fears to rest, and has strengthened and encouraged patients' relationship with
the dentist.

"Most people know that neglecting their oral health means risking cavities and gum disease," says Ray Martin, DDS, FAGD, 2003 SmileLine coordinator. "We hope that this toll-free service helps answer difficult or embarrassing questions about dental health issues."

New research shows links between one's oral and overall health including gum disease as a warning sign to coronary vascular disease, which can place people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. In individuals with diabetes, gum disease is associated with poor control of insulin levels. Pregnant
women also need to be careful; gum disease can place pregnant women at risk for having low-birthweight babies.

"By seeking dental care on a more preventive and pro-active basis, patients aid their oral and overall health," says Dr. Martin.

The SmileLine, dentistry's first toll-free hotline, continues to
raise awareness about oral health, new dental technology and options for maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile.

The Academy's SmileLine Online section at enables consumers to post dental questions online and have them answered by an Academy member dentist. Consumers can get names, addresses and phone numbers of up to three
general dentists and a free oral health brochure by calling
1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327).