Press Release
 August 7, 2014
Melaney Arnold (217) 558-0500
Shelia Porter (312) 814-3524

Free Dental Screenings at the Illinois State Fair

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working with dentists, dental hygienists and oral health advocates throughout the state to provide free dental screenings on weekdays at the Illinois State Fair, beginning Friday, August 8.

“August is a good time to schedule dental exams for children before the school year begins,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Healthy teeth are an important part of overall health and we want every child in Illinois to have a healthy start to the new school year.”

Illinois law requires schoolchildren in Kindergarten, 2nd and 6th grades to have a dental examination – although yearly dental exams are encouraged for all schoolchildren.

Studies indicate a major reason for school absence is dental disease. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, 51 million school hours are lost because of dental problems. Tooth decay is still the major cause of tooth loss in children.

“It is as important to keep baby teeth as clean, healthy and cavity-free as adult teeth. If baby teeth are lost too soon due to cavities, it can cause problems when it’s time for permanent teeth to move into the mouth,” said IDPH Division of Oral Health Chief Dr. David Miller. “Cavities are preventable. However, cavities left untreated can cause infections that can spread to the rest of the body and become life-threatening.”

Free dental screenings will be conducted by volunteer oral health professionals in the IDPH Wellness on Wheels mobile health van from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 2:30p.m. to 6:00 p.m. during weekdays at the Illinois State Fair. The Wellness on Wheels van will be located in Happy Hollow, adjacent to the Illinois Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Proof of School Dental Examination Forms, as well as Dental Examination Waiver Forms can be found on the IDPH website at under “Oral Health” or call the IDPH Division of Oral Health at 217-785-4899.

IDPH continues to implement its Five Year Strategy 2014-2018 to maximize IDPH’s effectiveness, influence and value for promoting wellness, health equity, safety and improved health outcomes. Strategic plan priorities include developing and expanding partnerships; improving data utilization; reducing health disparities; improving regulatory compliance; and branding, marketing and communicating IDPH’s value.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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