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Baby Teeth Matter

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The following information has been provided by a community partner, Denise Goudelock, RDH, BS, MA from the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority Dental Clinic.  The Puyallup Tribe’s dental clinic is part of a collaborative project called Baby Teeth Matter to address the oral health of American Indian children ages 0-5.  Baby Teeth Matter is a collaborative project between the Northwest Tribal Dental Support Center and the Washington Dental Service Foundation. Seven tribal dental programs in the Pacific Northwest volunteered to participate in this project. The project included three face to face meetings/trainings, noon webinars, quarterly data collection, and ongoing technical assistance.

 

Objectives

  • Increase the number of 0-5 year olds who receive dental access, with an emphasis on 0-2 year olds.
  • Increase the number of 0-5 year olds who receive comprehensive dental care at their IHS/Tribal dental program. (Reduce referrals to private pediatric dentists)

 

Promising Practices

  • Protocols :  screening/exams, fluoride varnish, sealants on primary molars, minimally invasive dentistry, motivational interviewing, and frequent recall.
  • Tribal Policies: Include a dental visit as part of a well-child visit, scheduling dental as the first stop in the appointment for the family.
  • Real Open Access: Babies can be seen whenever the dental clinic is open without scheduling an appointment.
  • Case Management: Tracking all 1-2 year olds to schedule dental appointments
  • School Visits: Coordinated with Tribal FACE, early preschool program
  • Day care visits: Coordinated with Tribal Day Care Center

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According to Sound Outreach Services, “On any given night in Pierce County 2000 people experience homelessness. This number includes babies, children, teens, and adults. They are victims of domestic violence, people with disabilities, veterans, and senior citizens…Project Homeless Connect provides a starting place on the journey back to safety, stability, health, and hope. Project Homeless Connect reduces the duration of homelessness by providing services that address the basic needs; basic medical and dental care, access to education, employment and benefits systems, chemical dependency assessments, flu shots, haircuts, and much more – all under one roof!”

Please share news of this upcoming 10/26/16 event. To volunteer in the Dental Services area, contact pcds@pcdentists.org. Attendees interested in the dental services are encouraged to arrive early.

Event will be held once again at the Tacoma Armory in downtown Tacoma.

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Recent update on Washington Apple Health Dental Coverage

WA Apple Health Dental Update Presentation 2016.03

On March 9, 2016, Pierce County Oral Health Coalition members and others convened to gain insight and updates on Washington State’s Apple Health (Medicaid) dental coverage for children and adults. In her presentation, Dianne Baum, Dental Program Administrator for Washington Apple Health shared: status and scope of dental benefits provided to our state’s residents who qualify for Apple Health benefits, state-wide Apple Health dental provider statistics, and important information on state provider audit programs and potential audit criteria and triggers.

Providers are responsible for checking the HCA website for updates. Washington’s Apple Health Dental Billing Guides are updated quarterly: January, April, July and October. There is a separate guide for the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (“ABCD”) program. Ms. Baum suggested signing up for “go-delivery” e-mails and visiting the Dental webpage.

An engaging question and answer session followed the presentation, focused primarily on preauthorization of dental services and other claims handling issues. Ms. Baum’s presentation included helpful links and contact information for providers. Apple Health clients will also find valuable information about their benefits on HCA’s “For Clients” page, including a current summary of adult dental benefits.

This was incredibly helpful and specific information for dental billers, and nice to have additional Health Care Authority Apple Health resource information,” remarked one participant.

Presentation Handouts:

 

School kids get oral health goody bags

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

 

Today and tomorrow only! Ages 50+ dental care seminar

Oral health care is important at every age!

Today and tomorrow afternoon, Pierce County Community Connections is hosting a “Caring for Your Teeth after 50” seminar as follows:

  • February 18, 2016, 12:10-12:50 p.m. at the County City Building, Rainier Conference Room, 7th Floor, 930 S. Tacoma Avenue, Tacoma
  • February 19, 2016, 12:10-12:50 p.m. at the Pierce County Annex, 2401 S. 35th Street, Tacoma

“Caring for Your Teeth after 50” will provide important information about effective oral care and health. Particularly after 50 years of age, the mouth and teeth begin to change. This is often compounded by changes in diet and metabolism, increased use of medications and other medical conditions. In addition, people visit their dentist less frequently. Oral health is also directly linked to many chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia.

“Older adults have to pay attention to their oral health,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. “Good health, good diet and good teeth are closely connected. We want people to understand the connections and learn about the enormous benefits of ongoing prevention.”

The workshops will be presented by Claire Brannan, BS, owner of Mobile Classes and Consulting. Clare teaches classes to caregivers and seniors to help them better understand common issues facing aging adults. Her presentation is sponsored by the Washington Dental Services Foundation and Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources.

All sessions are free and there is no RSVP required. For more information please call the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center at (253) 798-4600 or (800) 562-0332. In case of inclement weather call (253) 798-8787 for possible postponement or cancellation.

 

Tooth Fairy, Super Tooth and Chompy the Carrot coming to Puyallup!

Children's Dental Health Day Poster

February is Children’s Dental Health month…a fabulous time to promote oral health for all kids!

For the 25th year, the Pierce County Dental Society, with help from the Pierce County Dental Foundation and Washington Dental Service Foundation, is hosting Children’s Dental Health Day on Saturday, February 20, 2016…open to the community. The Tooth Fairy, Super Tooth and Chompy the Carrot will be joined by Pierce County dentists, Pierce County Oral Health Coalition members and others to offer FREE oral health services, information and resources, kids’ drawing contest with prizes plus other valuable and fun activities at the Puyallup South Hill Mall.

Share this event information and the gift of oral health with the families and children in your community!