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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

Pierce County Water Supply 101

 

“Where does our water come from?” The ground? Reservoirs? The kitchen faucet? The store? Brad Harp, Water Resources Manager at Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD), often starts his discussion with this seemingly simple question.  He then deftly leads his audience through the complex and fascinating description of our county’s water quality supply and its journey from source to our homes and businesses.

Brad engaged our Pierce County Oral Health Coalition and other community attendees on April 13, 2016 with detailed geology, chemical composition and filtration information and facts about our local water, including dispelling myths and misconceptions about drinking water throughout our county. We learned that our water contains many naturally occurring minerals and chemicals, with the composition uniquely dependent on the geology of its location. The audience also learned about treatment history of water monitoring, from sand filters used by the Romans 2,000 years ago to 1962 when the U.S. Public Health Service first adopted drinking water standards, to more current technological advances in water quality treatment methods.

The audience came away with a clearer understanding that “drinking water” is infinitely more complex than just oxygen and hydrogen, and with a deeper appreciation of the high quality water monitoring and treatment that takes place in Pierce County.

To request more information or a presentation on this topic, please contact:

Brad D. Harp, L.Hg

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

Water Resources Program Manager

(253) 798-2851

BHarp@tpchd.org

For helpful information about drinking water and wells, go to: http://www.tpchd.org/environment/drinking-water-wells/

For the latest TPCHD information on lead, go to: http://www.tpchd.org/environment/healthy-environment/lead/

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

 

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!

“What’s trending in oral health” symposium October 2015

You already know that oral health is directly linked to overall health and well-being. Pierce County’s “What’s Trending in Oral Health” Symposium will help you stay on top of the trends, gain new insight and relevant, timely information about medical, social and other factors that impact oral health. Join us in Tacoma for this educational morning on Friday, October 2, 2015.

  • Professional, engaging speakers
  • Useful information in working with patients, students, community members
  • Four (4) CEU credits
  • Affordable
  • Local and convenient @ Bates Technical College South Campus, 2201 S. 78th Street, Tacoma, WA 98409
  • Sponsor exhibitors with valuable information
  • Detailed speaker, topic, directions and registration information found here:PCOHC 2015 Oral Health Symposium_Registration_Flyer [2015.09.10]

Who Should Attend?
• Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants and front office staff.
• School and preschool health educators, nurses, and health aids.
• Primary care physicians, pediatricians, ARNPs, and PAs.
• Registered nurses, LPNs, and nursing assistants.
• Anyone interested in oral and overall health.

Don’t miss out! Register by 9/24/15 or earlier by completing/submitting:PCOHC 2015 Oral Health Symposium_Registration_Flyer [2015.09.10]

See you there!

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Coalition partners provide free dental care, education and resources

A little community flyer goes a long way...

We were so blessed to have received a flyer about the free dental clinic. These people really care enough to make sure that all would be served. The amazing staff worked together to help each member of the family. What an awesome experience for all!” (Pastor C.R. Adams, New Christ Temple of Deliverance, Tacoma, WA whose staff helped make appointments for and brought a new Pierce County family of four to the 7/31/15 clinic)

Arriving by bus, foot and carpool, over 20 Pierce County adults and some children had huge reason to smile after receiving compassionate, free dental services on Friday 7/31/15 at Bates Technical College’s Dental Assisting program facilities.  Via the wonderful Pierce County Dentists Care program, five Pierce County dentists and an entire team of Bates College’s dental assisting staff and students took x-rays, performed various dental services, alleviated dental pain and problems, and answered patient questions all the while demonstrating how this valuable downtown Tacoma clinic is a caring, oral health learning environment. Jennifer Bunch (Pierce County Dental Society) has coordinated the free dental clinics for years. She expertly welcomed and put each patient at ease, and then connected them to community resources for follow up care as necessary. As for that new Pierce County family of four…they have applied for Washington Apple Health coverage and are on a path to improved oral health.

For more information about the PC Dentist Care program (for uninsured Pierce County residents), call 253-272-1101 or if in dental pain, call 2-1-1 for a dental referral.