<p>Mary Alice Reporting:

(Friday, August 10th) Tuscarawas County, Ohio – Local organizations handed out back-to-school dental kits in an effort to improve and educate about dental health.

A Community Health Needs Assessment from 2015 identified the need for dental care access in Tuscarawas County.

Tuscarawas Clinic for the Working Uninsured Director Pat Warther explains the biggest reason behind individuals receiving dental care was due to the associated cost.

“It is an important factor because people don’t often realize that your dental care impacts your overall physical health. It’s something that’s typically an out-of-pocket expense for most people so when push comes to shove, dental care is often neglected.”

From a previous survey, 58% of adults in the county had visited a dentist which decreased to 38% of adults visiting a dental clinic if they had an annual household income less than $25,000.

Warther points out that the goal behind the Dental Community Improvement Plan was to educate youth and provide access to dental care supplies.

“The access to supplies was something that we came up with as a part of kind of a back-to-school campaign so we came up with the kits of toothbrush and toothpaste with some instructions about how you care for your teeth.”

Around 800 dental kits were passed out to children from the Tuscarawas County Health Department, Community Family Health, and offices at Trinity Hospital Twin City and Union Hospital.

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