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New York City Seal
Press Release
New York City Department of Health
Office of Public Affairs
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Lauren Margulies
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
(212) 295-5335/5336


New York City Department of Health Joins Other Organizations to Commemorate
Children's Dental Health Month in Manhattan

The New York City Department of Health (DOH) announced today that in observance of Children's Dental Health Month free multicolored mouth guards and dental examinations are being given to kids at several locations in Manhattan today and tomorrow, February 19th and 20th. The event is sponsored by several partners, including DOH, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), the New York County Dental Society, Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery, and New York University College of Dentistry.

Dr. Mercedes Franklin, DMD, MPH, Director of Medical Affairs of Oral Health Programs of HHC, said, "One in five children has some type of accident that involves their teeth, many of which occur while playing contact sports. Most of these injuries could be reduced in severity or prevented entirely if protective gear is worn while on the playing field. Custom fitted mouth guards, individually fitted to each child's mouth by a dental professional, offer the highest degree of protection against oral injury for children engaged in sports and contact games. I encourage New York City parents to take advantage of this opportunity to protect their children's teeth while helping to promote healthy sports activities."

Free mouth guards and examinations will be available for children at six locations throughout Manhattan:

  • Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery
  • Sydenham Neighborhood Family Care Center
  • Grant Houses Clinic
  • Washington Heights Health Center
  • Rauschenbusch Metrocenter
  • New York University College of Dentistry

DOH participates in ongoing initiatives that promote oral health and education. DOH works with the Board of Education in the administration of the School Dental Record Program, providing oral health education for more than 400,000 children in selected grades in every NYC public school. In collaboration with the HHC, DOH offers educational programs, screening, and referral services and treatment citywide in portable dental clinics placed directly in schools.