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Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
October 03, 2011

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.

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Office of Communications

Photo Opportunity: Health and Senior Services Commissioner to Visit Lakewood Elementary School to Promote Good Oral Health in Children


On Tuesday, October 4, New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd will join Matthew Gray, Principal, Clifton Avenue Elementary School; Dr. Beverly Sce of the DHSS Children’s Oral Health Program; teachers and the school nurse to observe 3rd grade students take part in an oral health education program.


Commissioner O’Dowd will watch children participate in the DHSS Children’s Oral Health Program and then distribute dental health care kits to the children after the program has concluded.  The visit to the school will begin at 10:30 a.m. and conclude by 11:30 a.m.  The Clifton Ave. Elementary School is located at 625 Clifton Ave., Lakewood.


DHSS Children’s Oral Health Program:

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has a 30 year successful history of serving the oral health education needs of children and families across the state. Working together in schools and communities, program staff raises awareness about the need for good oral hygiene, healthy food choices, tobacco prevention and regular dental visits in order to prevent dental disease. 


During the 2010-2011 school year, Children's Oral Health Program staff educated approximately 80,000 children, parents and public health professionals throughout the state.  Other school-based activities include "Save our Smiles," the voluntary school based fluoride mouth rinse program, teaching loaner kits that have a variety of oral health resources that can be used in a variety of academic settings and a newsletter for school nurses on timely oral health topics of interest.


The Program also conducts community-based activities for parents, pregnant women, and non-dental professionals such as school nurses, WIC coordinators, and social workers.  Please visit for complete information on the DHSS Children’s Oral Health Program. 


The Clifton Ave. Elementary School was a participant in the Children’s Oral Health Program 2010-2011 "Sugar-Less Day to Prevent Tooth Decay" initiative.  Given the overwhelmingly positive response from students, parents and school staff, the school will again be invited to participate in this initiative as it expands to all 21 counties of New Jersey during the 2011-2012 school year. 

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