I am a public health dental hygienist and operate Mainely Teeth, a nonprofit organization that connects people to dental care by bringing my mobile dental clinic directly to them. One of my priorities is bringing dental care to children, which means that you can often find my mobile dental clinic parked outside a school.

What we see when we bring the clinic to schools is that many children are unable to get into dental offices for preventive services like fluoride varnish and sealants. They are going without the regular care that you and I might take for granted, and as a result they are suffering from dental decay and are often in pain.

For some children, brushing and flossing isn’t enough to prevent disease. The services hygienists provide like fluoride varnish and sealants are extremely important to prevent decay for these children. Yet, these services are often unattainable for children, and only about a third of Maine schools are able to participate in the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s School Oral Health Program, which brings these important services right to the children.

By funding L.D. 1501, An Act to Protect Oral Health for Children in Maine, we have the opportunity to expand basic prevention services to children statewide. I implore our legislators to see the value in funding this critical bill so that we can help our youngest generation of Mainers live a life with good oral health, so they can learn and play without the pain and stigma of dental disease.

Amber Lombardi

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