From The Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) Oral Health Office announces the fifth annual “Share Your Smile with Alabama” statewide photo contest.
Two third grade students, one girl and one boy, will be selected from photo submissions as the winners of the campaign. ADPH marketing campaigns will highlight the pair of third graders to promote children’s oral health.
This contest is open to children living in Alabama who are either enrolled and attending third grade, or 8 to 10 years of age being home schooled. The official rules of the photo contest and an application form can be viewed at alabamapublichealth.gov/oralhealth/contest.html. Submissions must be made by a parent or legal guardian, and will be accepted October 19 through November 30, 2021. There is no entry fee. Winners will be announced January 28, 2022.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month 2022, and this year’s theme is “Sealants Make Sense.” The annual observance is designated to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and others.
Dental sealants are thin coatings that when painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth can prevent tooth decay for many years. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from cavities by covering them with a protective shield that blocks germs and food. Sealants protect against 80 percent of cavities for 2 years and continue to protect against 50 percent of cavities for up to 4 years.
State Dental Health Director Dr. Tommy Johnson said, “We are sponsoring this annual contest to bring attention to children’s oral health care and to remind everyone that dental decay is preventable. Dental sealants are an easy and painless way to prevent cavities and are less expensive and easier to apply than fillings.”
The ADPH Oral Health Office is dedicated to preventing dental disease for Alabama’s citizens by promoting and developing quality, cost-effective community and school-based preventive, educational and early treatment programs which emphasize elimination of oral health disparities.