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ARTICLE UnitedHealthcare Raises Awareness of Children's Dental Health in Kentucky with Inaugural "Brush Off!" Rally

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 23, 2012) – More than 300 Booker T. Washington Academy students were joined today by volunteers from UnitedHealthcare and the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry for the inaugural "Brush Off!" rally to help improve children's dental health and raise awareness of Kentucky's growing pediatric dental health disparity.

The one-hour rally featured students brushing their teeth together for two minutes (the amount of time recommended by the American Dental Association). UnitedHealthcare provided toothbrushes, tooth paste, educational materials and other items important for good oral health.

Children's dental health is a major challenge in Kentucky. According to the latest available state evaluation of Kentucky's dental health, half of the state's children had decay in their primary teeth, and nearly half of children ages 2 to 4 had untreated dental problems, more than twice the national average.

In 2009, Gov. Steve Beshear launched a three-year, $2.2 million initiative called Healthy Smiles Kentucky to improve dental health for children in the eastern part of the state. The program initially focused on creating a training curriculum to teach Kentucky dentists effective techniques in treating young children, and now includes community oral health coalitions that help children access dental care, and funding to provide preventive oral health services to 25,000 elementary school children in Appalachia.

"Today's Brush Off! event is a fun, educational way to teach Kentucky's children important lessons that help them stay healthy for a lifetime," said Paul Brophy, executive director of UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual of Kentucky. "UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to help reinforce the governor's efforts to improve our children's dental health."

"Healthy kids are happy students, and we're absolutely thrilled to host the first-ever UnitedHealthcare Brush Off! at Booker T. Washington Academy," said Wendy Brown, principal at Booker T. Washington Academy. "Our students, faculty and staff are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this fun and educational event."

About UnitedHealthcare
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

More Dental Health Resources

UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits: Dental plans

Online seminar: Protect Your Healthy Smile

John Luther, DDS
Watch now | Speaker biography
Program aired Oct. 5, 2011

Dr. Luther provides helpful tips on caring for your oral health and that of your family. Topics include: When should children see a dentist for the first time? How is oral health linked to overall health? Does pregnancy affect your teeth and gums? You'll also learn more about the latest trends in cosmetic dentistry, including bleaching and veneers.

Oral Health Videos

These videos highlight the importance of oral health and offer practical tips. Topics include the connection between oral health and diabetes, cardiovascular disease and pregnancy, and prevention of early childhood tooth decay. Another version of these videos is available for employees. Encourage your employees to view these today.

Employer videos
Member videos