FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 5, 2020


CONTACT: Debra Harris-Bowyer, Cabell County Family Resource Network Coordinator |

P: 304.697.0255 | E:


CONTACT: Kaylin R. Adkins-Staten, APR, Hourglass Media |

P: 304.900.2833 | E:

Maintain kids’ dental health with annual Back to School checkups


HUNTINGTON — According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, approximately 51 million school hours per year are lost due to dental-related illness.

Parents and caregivers can keep their children healthy in the days and weeks leading up to back to school — no matter what the 2020-21 school year looks like. Adding an annual dental checkup to the back-to-school checklist keeps children’s smiles healthy, as well as establishing a dental home for each child.

Dental examinations are required through the West Virginia Board of Education Policy 2423 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention as part of each child’s comprehensive physical prior to the school year, in addition to immunizations and other requirements. This policy, which was introduced in phases, includes Pre-K and Kindergarten School Year (2015-16), grade 2 (2016-17), grade 7 (2017-18), and grade 12 (2018-19).

Children with good oral health spend more time in school learning without having to miss school work due to dentist appointments and procedures.

“It is with great pride that I announce the School Dental Exam Requirement Toolkit,” said Dr. Jason Roush, West Virginia State Dental Director, in the 2015 launch of the updated requirement toolkit. “The ability to make oral health another important component of the school health requirements to ensure students are healthy and ready to learn is a joyous day for the children and families of West Virginia. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Oral Health Program Advisory Board has worked closely with the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) and school nurses to ensure oral health becomes incorporated into the daily routines and care of students and their families.”

See the entire toolkit here:

Here are some effective ways you can prevent cavities, tooth pain and sometimes tooth loss:

  • Take your child to the dentist starting at age one.
  • Avoid sharing spoons, cleaning off baby’s pacifier in your mouth instead of with water and other habits that could pass germs from parent to child.
  • Brush two minutes two times per day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Drink tap water and eat healthy foods.
  • Consider dental sealants to prevent tooth decay.
  • Establish a routine. Help your children brush their teeth, read a favorite book and get to bed at a regular time each night.

The Cabell County Family Resource Network (FRN) has its own Resources for Healthy Teeth Toolkit. Examples of included local, state, regional and national resources are the following:

  • National children’s dental health campaign
  • Tips for healthy teeth for parents and caregivers
  • Finding a dentist close to you
  • Lessons to use with students in the classroom and beyond
  • Fun activities for children
  • Local, state, regional and national resources

“The Cabell County FRN has compiled many different topics and website links to quality information like children’s activities, ideas and tools for teachers of preschool and school age children, how parents can find a dentist and many other items,” said Debra Harris Bowyer, coordinator of Cabell County Family Resource Network. “By providing a guide to resource information and promoting it in the community, we hope to increase the knowledge of these resources and the utilization of dental services and help children be cavity free.”

This project is done in collaboration with the Community and School Oral Health Team at Marshall University School of Medicine, which applauds the efforts of the Cabell County FRN as it works to empower families in our local communities. The Cabell County FRN recognizes that families cannot be healthy unless they have the proper knowledge and tools on how to care and maintain healthy teeth and mouths.


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About The Cabell County Family Resource Network:

The Cabell County Family Resource Network (FRN) is a partnership of individuals, families and agencies working together to promote the well-being of children and families in Cabell County. Since its incorporation in September 1993, the Cabell County FRN has brought together a broad-based representation of partners, including business representatives, consumers, and service providers from health, education, housing, and social services. These partners are critical to improving the well-being of our families and children. The Cabell County FRN envisions a coordinated, community-based social service system responsive to the needs of families and effective in enhancing the success of individuals and families to responsibly achieve their goals.


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RESOURCE: Maintain kids’ dental health with annual Back to School checkups – find oral health resource info at