Aiea Doc Helps Launch Dental Initiative
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Twenty keiki from Kuhio Park Terrace can smile a little brighter, thanks to free dental screenings provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the Office of Head Start, which recently launched a five-year multimillion-dollar contract to combat tooth decay among Hawaii’s children.
The Head Start Initiative began last May, and Aiea resident Dr. Lynn Fujimoto, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Hawaii state leader of the initiative, was happy to lend her services to a great cause.
“It was an easy partnership between Head Start and the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,” Fujimoto said.“It’s very worthwhile to know that you are providing dental care to these keiki, because we firmly believe that good dental care is essential to overall health and self-image.”
Fujimoto currently practices at Pediatric Dentistry Associates in Pearl City and has been doing so for the past 28 years.
“Our goal is to make children comfortable when they go to the dentist,” she explained.“I love treating children and watching them grow up.”
Hawaii is one of 12 states in 2009 to establish a network of dentists to help prevent tooth decay, the No.1 health problem currently facing Head Start children.
“Nursing-bottle decay - when infants and toddlers fall asleep sucking on their bottles - is a problem that can easily be prevented,” she noted.
Statistics show children nationwide benefit highly from Head Start, as only 20 percent of non-enrolled Head Start-eligible children have visited the dentist. However, 88 percent of children enrolled in the program have received dental examinations.
“We are establishing mentorship teams on all the islands to train dentists to be able to treat more underprivileged children so that 100 percent will have a dental home,” Fujimoto said.
The Head Start and Early Head Start programs in Hawaii serve newborn children through age 5 and their parents.
For more information, visit http://www.aapd.org or call Fujimoto at 456-4555.
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