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      Kids' dentistry about more than fixing cavities

      It's National Children's Dental Health Month, and area dentists say it's a good time to get kids into healthy dental routines.

      For ten years, the American Dental Association has been doing a 'Give Kids a Smile' day in February, with dental practices doing free checkups and preventive care for needy children.

      Dr. Kristin Clark-Lowell , in practice in Cortland, is part of this year's outreach. On February 22nd, she, with help from the Seven Valleys Health Coalition will host a free clinic.

      But she says children's mouth health is about more than a check for cavities: if children start going to the dentist, they learn it's not a scary or painful experience. And research continues to show that mouth care is tied to body wellness, for example heart disease is linked to plaque buildup.

      gkas@ada.org can help find more dentists participating in the children's clinics. And the www.ada.org (American Dental Association) website has tips and guidelines on mouth care, by age groups