February 1, 2021

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

Third grade winners of 2021 ‘Share Your Smile with Alabama’ competition announced, kids’ smiles promote good oral health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tommy Johnson, D.M.D.
(334) 206-5398

CONTACT: Summer Macias
(334) 206-2978

The Oral Health Office of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) announces the winners of the fourth annual smile photo contest for third grade students in Alabama, as National Children’s Dental Health Month is celebrated during February.

A boy and a girl were selected from photo submissions as the overall winners of the “Share Your Smile with Alabama” campaign for 2021. Bentley Darlington of Pine Level Elementary School in Autauga County and Kataleya Harris of Gardendale Elementary School in Jefferson County were chosen as the contest winners. The third graders will be spotlighted in ADPH marketing campaigns to promote children’s oral health in the state.

This year’s national campaign slogan is “Water: Nature’s Drink!” State Dental Health Director Dr. Tommy Johnson said, “We want to encourage children to drink environmentally friendly tap water that contains fluoride and to develop good oral health habits such as brushing and flossing. In addition, they should eat a healthy diet that limits sugary beverages and snacks and visit their dentist regularly. These habits will help kids develop a lifetime of healthy smiles.”

Good oral health is especially important for children. Cavities (also known as caries or tooth decay) are among the most common chronic conditions of children in the United States and is nearly 100 percent preventable. 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.

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.

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY

Interviews with our Oral Health staff are available. If you would like to set up an interview, please coordinate plans with Summer Macias at (334) 206-2978 or summer.macias@adph.state.al.us. You may send her a Zoom invitation. Photographs of the “Share Your Smile with Alabama” winners are available by clicking https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/oralhealth/contest.html

County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.

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02/01/2021



  • For more information, visit http://alabamapublichealth.gov
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