Monthly Archives: May 2014

Washington leads nation in access to dental care for low-income children

Washington State has a reason to smile as the nation’s leader in the percentage of babies and preschoolers from low-income families getting dental care.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 54% of Medicaid-eligible young children are receiving oral care in Washington, a rate higher than any other state.  (For more information, see the May 9 story in the Puget Sound Business Journal: A reason to smile: Washington leads nation in access to dental care for low-income kids.)

In Pierce County, the percentage of Medicaid-eligible children accessing dental care has increased steadily since implementation of the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) program. The ABCD Program focuses on oral health education and early dental care for children ages 5 and under. In 2012, the percentage of Medicaid-eligible Pierce County children accessing dental care was just over 45%. Data and Medicaid dental reports are available on the Health Care Authority website.

While the above is good news, the challenge and opportunity exist, both State and county-wide, to connect the remaining percentages of Medicaid-eligible kids to dental care at least once a year. As a community, we can help by sharing the following oral health messages:

  • Oral health is an essential component of overall health.
  • Children should have a dental visit by first tooth or first birthday.
  • Dental disease is both preventable and treatable. Early oral health education and intervention are cost-effective health measures, and key to prevention of dental disease.
  • The ABCD program makes dental care possible for low-income children ages 0-5.  Find Pierce County ABCD and dentist referral information here.
  • Pierce County has many dental care providers, including many Pierce County Oral Health Coalition partners, who accept children, ages 0-18 who have WA Apple Health (Medicaid) insurance. Find low cost Pierce County dental providers here.


Announcing June 2014 low cost dental clinic

Pierce County Oral Health Coalition partners, Pierce County Dental Society and Bates Technical College’s Dental Assisting School, are teaming up again to offer very low cost dental services for Pierce County uninsured adults.  Patients will be asked to pay a $25.00 flat fee that will be used for to cover the cost of supplies for the clinic.

The clinic will be held on Friday June 6, 2014, event is by appointment-only. To schedule, call 253-272-1101. Interested adults are encouraged to schedule soon as appointment slots are limited.

Click on the following flyer for more details: Bates PCDS Dental Clinic [2014.06]

Coalition meets at the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority on May 14

The Pierce County Oral Health Coalition (PCOHC) is pleased to announce that its monthly May meeting will be held at and hosted by the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority. The event will include a tour of the authority’s dental clinic and its other facilities.

Building #4, Spirit House/Kwawachee Counseling Meeting Room
2209 E. 32nd at Ductcho Street, Tacoma, WA

Time: 1-3 p.m.

Lunch will be provided, including vegetarian options. Please RSVP by May 12, at: