Dental decay is a prevalent childhood disease in the USA, responsible for many missed or unfocused days in school due to pain and required treatment. Oral health is sometimes overlooked but is vitally important to a child’s development and ability to concentrate and stay in school.
To put a dent in this trend and support healthy smiles for all children in Pierce County, the Pierce County Oral Health Coalition teamed up in February to assemble over 800 oral health goody bags for kids! Using PCOHC member-donated supplies, each goody bag contained an age appropriate toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and valuable information on how to maintain great oral health and hygiene.
We delivered the bags to St. Leo’s Food Connection in Tacoma. Kevin Glackin-Coley, Executive Director at the St. Leo’s Food Connection is thrilled to be able to share these oral health items with the many 100’s of Clover Park and Tacoma school district students (K-12) who receive a nutritious weekly meal as part of St. Leo’s weekend Backpack Program.
Fortunately, dental decay is nearly 100% preventable and with the necessary tools, good hygiene is a brush and floss away. Nutrition also significantly affects dental health and hence, partnering with St. Leo’s healthy weekend food program was a natural for the oral health coalition. Project participant organizations included Bates Technical College/Dental Assisting School, Community Health Care, Coordinated Care, Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children, Pierce County Community Connections, Pierce County Dental Society, Puget Sound ESD, SeaMar Community Health, and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department/ABCD and School Nurse programs.
Find additional information about St. Leo’s food connection programs, as well as helpful oral health resources for children:
Pierce County Oral Health Coalition: www.pcohc.org
St. Leo’s Food Connection Backpack Program: http://www.foodconnection.org/pages/backpack.htm
Access to Baby and Child Dentistry: http://www.tpchd.org/health-wellness-1/abcd-access-to-baby-child/
Pierce County Library System: http://www.piercecountylibrary.org/kids-teens/parents-caregivers/early-learning/children-oral-health.htm
National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center: http://mchoralhealth.org/toolbox/families.php
WA Dental Service Foundation: https://www.deltadentalwa.com/our-foundation/educational-materials.aspx