Prevention & Outreach
Tooth decay is the leading disease for children in Orange County and is preventable, especially when children receive routine clinical screenings and are taught proper oral hygiene.
The Prevention education program is geared towards educating school-age children in low-income schools visited by the prevention team. Children learn about the importance of teeth, cavities and the tooth decay process as well as prevention tips. Each year an “added value” component related to nutrition and health is incorporated into the lessons taught the previous year at returning schools. These lessons empower children to make small changes that ultimately improve their overall health overtime.
“Education creates empowerment, empowerment creates awareness, and awareness creates change.” – Lisa Marie Smilowitz aka Ms. Smiley, Senior Oral Health Educator at Healthy Smiles
There Oral Health Prevention Process/Smile Mobile Visit consists of:
- Screening – Children are examined by one of Healthy Smiles’ Registered Dentists and signs of infection are recorded.
- Fluoride Varnish – Children receive fluoride varnish application, which reduces bacteria, strengthens teeth, and provides maximum protection from decay.
- Sealants – Children receive sealants from one of Healthy Smiles’ Registered Dental Hygienists which are safe plastic coatings applied on top of the back teeth that protect teeth from cavities.
Referral – Children are referred to a dental clinic to receive further treatment or to establish a dental home to make routine visits every six months. A parent education component is also offered at all? school sites.
Care Coordination – Parents who consent may also receive calls from care coordinators to help link them to dental homes to receive dental services for their children.
Here’s the feedback we get about our educators:
“Ms. Smiley puts the Energizer Bunny to shame. Motivating, amazing energy, very memorable, and so fun!”- Ms. Saez, Oak View
“I have not seen students with toothaches like this in the past. Kids were absent or they were leaving school because of a toothache… not anymore!” – Ms. Osario, Pio Pico Elementary
The Outreach education program is geared towards providing education to children ages 0 to 5 and their families. Education takes place in community sites such as Head Starts, preschools, resource centers, and after-school programs. Parents and children learn about the importance of teeth, cavities and the germs that cause them in addition to learning how to properly brush their teeth in a fun way! Parents are provided with resources to help find dental clinics in their areas.
For community event screenings please contact Jenny Sanchez at 714-510-3837 X 221 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For school-based prevention screenings please contact Rita Barstad at 714-510-3837 X 216 or at email@example.com.