February 1, 2019

State of Alabama
Press Release: Public Health, Alabama Department of

Second Annual ‘Share Your Smile with Alabama’ photo campaign highlights winning smiles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tommy Johnson, DMD
(334) 206-5398

To kick off National Children’s Dental Health Month, the Oral Health Office of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) announces the winners of its second annual smile photo contest for third grade students in Alabama.

Two children, one girl and one boy, were selected from photo submissions as the overall winners of the “Share Your Smile with Alabama” campaign. Brian Escobar of Kitty Stone Elementary School in Jacksonville and Aiyana Velazquez of Arab Elementary School in Arab were selected as the contest winners. The pair of third graders will be spotlighted in upcoming ADPH marketing campaigns to promote children’s oral health in the state.

This year’s campaign slogan is “Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile.” A healthy smile is important to children, both for their overall health and self-esteem. Cavities (also known as caries or tooth decay) are one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Untreated dental cavities can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing and learning. Children who have poor oral health often miss more school and receive lower grades than their classmates.

“Educating children to form the habit of brushing and flossing, along with regular dental checkups, helps them keep healthy smiles,” State Dental Health Director Dr. Tommy Johnson said. “Dental decay is preventable, and we hope all parents will ensure that their children receive the care their children need and deserve. Developing good oral health habits at an early age will help kids get a good start on a lifetime of oral health.”

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 the elimination of oral health disparities.

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