In her Letter to the Editor aligned with National Children’s Dental Health MonthJulie Cleary, a professor of Dental Health Programs at Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania offered reminders of the responsibility we all share: oral health care of children.


Julie Cleary is professor of Dental Health Programs at Luzerne County Community College, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania.

She recalls 12-year-old Deamonte Driver, a Maryland boy whose untreated cavity led to a fatal brain infection in 2007.

“He had two brain operations totaling $250,000 before he died, but his life could have been spared if his infected tooth had been simply removed — a procedure costing just $80. His family had no health insurance and had lost Medicaid benefits.”

Among her topics of discussion in her letter, published at
* Pennsylvania’s track record for addressing children’s dental health needs (in 2012 and 2014, Pennsylvania received a score of “D” in a Pew Center on the States report)

* the “newest weapons in the arsenal against tooth decay” – silver diamine fluoride (SDF).

Learn more about the path to prevention, and an upcoming annual Kids’ Cavity Prevention Day on March 25, at which the Luzerne County Community College dental health programs will offer free preventive dental hygiene services for children, including the aforementioned SDF treatments: