Letcher County students take part in state wide dental initiative

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LETCHER COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT)- A group of third graders at Letcher Elementary were a part of an oral health initiative today.

Health officials from "Making Smiles Happen Surveillance Initiative" brought a free health clinic for students to show the importance of oral health.

"We’re looking for teeth that have decay in them, teeth that have been filled and teeth that have been sealed," said Dr. Charles Tritle.

Dr. Tritle says it was strictly to collect data, bringing more programs and sources for oral hygiene in Kentucky. He says he would like to see more education in schools.

Officials say these dental screenings are happening at 60 schools across the state for data collection and school officials at Letcher Elementary say they're grateful their school is one of them.

"It just gives our families another opportunity to find out that status of the students dental needs," said Wendy Rutherford, principal at Letcher Elementary.

Dr. Tritle says it’s been 15 years since a data screening, but those screenings brought new initiatives.

"I think a lot of the programs that are out there now are a by product of that survey 15 years ago."

Dr. Tritle says oral health is a state wide focus and children are not getting the message on how to brush their teeth properly.

Delta Dental provided the grant for the clinics.

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