New program to improve Phila. kids dental care

February 19, 2013 2:54:33 PM PST
Children living around Temple University can look forward to brighter smiles, thanks to a $1.75 million dollar commitment from Temple and United Healthcare.

Temple launched a new program today to give kids dental care, and educate families on why a healthy mouth is important.

Project ENGAGE won't just work through clinics, but will also include home visits, making the program unique.

The home visits will reinforce good dental habits, as well as providing information on healthy eating and other programs offering free dental care.

Many of those programs are under-used, even though there is a significant need for care.

Right now, only 30 per cent of the area's kids see a dentist on a regular basis.

Dr. Amid Ismaili, the dean of the Temple Dental School, says, "2 out of 5 children aged zero to 5 have dental decay.

He adds, "No child should have dental decay. This disease can be prevented."

The program will also guide families to other free help.

The program is being funded with a $1 million dollar grant from United Health Foundation and another $750,000 from UnitedHealthcare.