R 122
2023 -- S 0159
Enacted 02/08/2023

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senator Alana DiMario

Date Introduced: February 08, 2023

     WHEREAS, The recognition of February as Children’s Dental Health Month provides an
opportunity to highlight a child’s dental health as being a critical component of overall well-being
and essential to a child’s quality of life. A healthy mouth is meant to last a lifetime and
contributes to an individual’s self-esteem; and
     WHEREAS, Good dental care begins as early as age one with good habits that are
reinforced through examples set by parents, caregivers, and older siblings in collaboration with
dental healthcare providers; and
     WHEREAS, Childhood cavities remain the most prevalent, chronic, and curable disease
of childhood but some 100 million Americans fail to visit their dental office for routine
preventive care; and
     WHEREAS, Sealants, a protective thin coating placed on the chewing surface of a child’s
adult molar, as soon as the tooth appears in the mouth, have been shown to be a cost effective
method of preventing cavities beginning in early childhood. Untreated cavities can cause pain,
infection, problems with eating, and speaking difficulties; and
     WHEREAS, Sixty percent of children aged six through eleven do not receive sealants
and children from low-income families are 20 percent less likely to get sealants. Dental sealants,
once applied, protect against 80 percent of cavities for two years and continue to protect against
50 percent of cavities for up to four years; and
     WHEREAS, Dentists, dental hygienists and other qualified dental professionals can apply
sealants in the dental office, school-based sealant programs, mobile dental clinics, and
community settings; and
     WHEREAS, We should all be working collectively to support the dental community,
school-based dental health programs, and community organizations in advocating for increased
overall access to preventive programs that support sealant programs which in the long-term
reduces the future need for extensive and costly dental treatments; and
     WHEREAS, Dental professionals, school administrators, state officials, and parents
should advocate for dental health educational and treatment programs for children and families;
now, therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island hereby urges all citizens and
community organizations to observe February as National Children’s Dental Health Month; and
be it further
     RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby proclaims February of 2023, to be "Children’s
Dental Health Month" in the State of Rhode Island; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to Ms. Marie Jones-Bridges, PHDH, BS, United
Healthcare, Rhode Island Community Based Coordinator, Specialty Benefits, Rhode Island Rite
Smile Dental.