Oral Health Program
Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic health problem among children in California. The Center for Disease Control reports that more than 40% of children have decay before entering kindergarten. Due to these alarming statistics, First 5 Placer and the California Department of Public Health is funding the efforts of Placer County's Public Health Division to address this largely preventable health issue. The Placer County Oral Health Program focuses on promoting preventive dental care knowledge and access to early preventive dental services with the aim of boosting the number of Placer County's residents who remain cavity-free.
Oral Health and School Readiness
In 2018, over 440,000 of California K-12 students missed school due to dental problems. Therefore, the Placer County Oral Health Program is encouraging parents and caregivers to send their children back to school with healthy smiles by finding a dental home and scheduling a dental check-up before the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
Establishing good dental health habits at a young age, including regular dental visits, can help a child’s school attendance, performance, and a lifetime of strong, healthy smiles. Help promote and utilize resources from Smile, California on oral health and school readiness via the following links:
- Medi-Cal & Dental Coverage
- Oral Health Alliance
- Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment
- Tobacco Use
- Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
- Community Water Fluoridation
Medi-Cal & Dental Coverage
As a Medi-Cal member, your benefits and your child's benefits include dental coverage. Visit the Medi-Cal Dental Program or Smile, California to learn more about your coverage. For more information on how to obtain Medi-Cal that includes dental coverage, click hereMedi Cal Program.
You can also find additional information regarding local dental providers and coverage via the following links:
Oral Health Alliance
The Placer County Oral Health Alliance is a county-wide collaborative created by the Oral Health Program which concentrates a community focus on oral health problems and works to ensure that all Placer County residents have access to and utilize appropriate dental prevention services. By bringing together healthcare providers, community-based organizations, community members and public health agencies, it serves to eliminate any unnecessary duplication of effort and therefore bring about more effective and efficient delivery of oral health services to children in Placer County.
To learn more about the collaborative efforts of the Oral Health Alliance and the Oral Health Program, view the 2018-2022 Placer County Oral Health Plan.
Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment
The Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment (KOHA) requires that each child entering public school for the first time (at kindergarten or first grade) has an oral health assessment performed by a licensed dentist or registered dental hygienist within 12 months prior to or by May 31st of the child’s first year in public school. Ultimately, the goal of the KOHA is to:
- Ensure children are ready for school.
- Lower student absenteeism.
- Establish a dental home for students.
- Prevent dental decay and dental pain.
The California Dental Association provides a variety of KOHA resources for parents, schools, dental professionals, and clinics. As well, the California Department of Education offers additional information on the KOHA requirement, including a sample notification letter and the assessment form. To learn more about the KOHA and other oral health tips, you can visit the Smile, California School Readiness webpage.
The use of tobacco products is one of the leading causes of preventable illness and death in the United States. It can lead to a variety of negative oral effects including oral cancer, cavities, gum recession and disease, and tooth loss. For additional information and resources that can help with smoking cessation, visit the following links.
To learn more about the Placer County Tobacco Control Program, click hereTobacco Control Program.
Sugary drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay and cavity development. Reducing your sugar intake and substituting these drinks for healthier options with less sugar, such as water, is one way to improve your oral health. To learn more about sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, its impact on oral health, and how you can reduce your sugar intake, visit the following links below.
- The Truth about Sugary Drinks and your Smile
- Get the Facts: Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
- Rethink Your Drink
For more information about the Placer County CalFresh Healthy Living Program, click hereCalFresh Healthy Living.
Community Water Fluoridation
Community water fluoridation is a highly effective and equitable way to deliver fluoride to all community members. According to the Center for Disease Control, drinking fluoridated water has not only shown to strengthen your teeth and reduce cavities by 25%, but has also proven to save overall costs for families and the health care system. Additional information regarding community water fluoridation can be found via the following links.