Do you know a senior or veteran needing dental care, but who doesn’t have insurance? Let them know about our Free Senior & Veteran Dental clinic! Registration is now open, call (253) 272-1101 to sign up for service. Participant must be a Pierce County Resident 55 years of age or older or a veteran of any age. Participant must not have dental insurance, Medicaid/Apple Health. participant must meet income guidelines and provide complete medical history.

Getting dental care can be difficult, but we’re here to help!

Dental Care Day

Dental Care Day

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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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/

Recent update on Washington Apple Health Dental Coverage

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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