February is National Children’s Dental Health Month which was established by The American Dental Association. (ADA). To promote healthy oral habits, CCRC’s Head Start and Early Head Start locations participated in Give Kids a Smile at its 18 locations. This program encourages local community dental providers to partner with early childhood education programs to offer dental screenings and fluoride varnish free of charge to children.
CCRC Head Start & Early Head Start locations partnered with San Fernando Valley Dental Society, Kids Community Dental Clinic, ABC Dental Group and Dr. Doves office to provide probe and light dental screenings and fluoride varnish to children enrolled in the program. Throughout the month, parents/guardians were encouraged to extend oral health education and activities from the classroom to home by making oral health a fun family activity. Head Start Health Service area also worked with center teaching teams to increase oral health education in curriculum and lesson plans for students focusing on brushing teeth three times a day, flossing with parental support, reducing sugary drinks and foods and seeing a dentist regularly.
We are pleased to have screened 1082 of the 1471 enrolled in Head Start/Early Head Start programs and of these students 951 students had permission from their parent/guardian to receive fluoride varnish treatment. Parents were sent copies of dental screening findings to follow-up with their dental home.