Give Kids A Smile February 2018
February was National Children’s Dental Health Month. The local annual Give Kids A Smile event was held on February 24, 2018. The San Diego Dental Health Foundation (SDDHF) and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency’s Dental Health Initiative – Share the Care partnered with six community health centers located in different regions of the county, to provide free dental screenings, sealants and fluoride varnish to children ages 1 – 18. The participating community health centers were Family Health Centers of San Diego, Mountain Health, Neighborhood Healthcare, North County Health Services, Operation Samahan and San Ysidro Health. The community health centers screened a total of 244 individuals during the event. 144 of those screened received fluoride varnish and112 received sealants. Amongst the 112 receiving sealants, a total of 313 were placed. Children that did not have a current dental home also received assistance with setting up a dental appointment to establish a dental home.
Dental disease can have serious and expensive consequences for children if left untreated, including pain, infections, difficulty eating and tooth loss. Children with dental disease may also have trouble sleeping, talking, concentrating, and have more missed school days.
Good oral health is also important for pregnant women. The bacteria from a mother’s tooth decay can affect the health of her unborn child. Our Oral Health Initiative (OHI) teaches pregnant women and parents of young children about oral hygiene to help them develop and maintain good oral health habits.
The Oral Health Initiative, which is managed by Health Quality Partners of Southern California (HQP), includes a Treatment Fund to cover the cost of dental exams and treatment services for children 0-5 years of age and pregnant women.
OHI provides comprehensive oral health services such as:
- Dental screenings
- Dental exams
- Dental treatment (preventative, restorative, and specialty)
- Oral health education to children, parents/caregivers and pregnant women
- Oral health training to health providers, ancillary staff, and community-based organization staff
- School-based services are provided at select preschools.
For a participating OHI health center near you, call the Health Quality Partners at 619-542-4300, 2-1-1 or 1-888-5FIRST5 (1-888-534-7785).