Oral Health Forum

Central Coast Oral Health Collaborative

Hosts the Oral Health Forum -

The hidden epidemic: early childhood caries

On Wednesday, February 17th, more than 25 physicians, nurses and other health care community leaders attended our very first Oral Health Forum, hosted by the Central Coast Oral Health Collaborative, a program administered by the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust (Health Trust).  The forum topic was The Hidden Epidemic: Early Childhood Caries.

The gathering was held at the Seascape Golf Club in Aptos, where Kathleen King, Health Trust CEO, welcomed participants and both Lee Fitzsimmons, Deputy Director for the Child Health & Disability Prevention Program, and Dr. Sepi Walthard, Dental Director at Dientes Community Dental served as the facilitators for the evening.

 

The keynote speaker for the Oral Health Forum was Jessica Ray, DDS, General Dentist at the Children’s Dental Center in San Jose, CA & Supervising Dentist at the Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program.  Dr. Ray specifically reviewed what early childhood caries are and how to identify them. She also showed the group how to conduct an oral assessment and ways in which to prevent early childhood caries. Dental caries is a chronic infectious disease that has negative impacts on the tooth structure and the enamel on the teeth.  According to the Surgeon General Report Oral Health 2009 Update, early childhood caries is the most serious and costly health condition among young children. It is imperative that we seek to prevent early childhood caries and provide early treatment if there are caries present. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends all children see a dentist by their first birthday or after eruption of their first primary tooth. Children should establish a dental “home” by age one. Dr. Ray also discussed the importance of wiping, brushing, flossing and using fluoride as preventative measures for early childhood caries.

 

Our second speaker, Patrick Clyne, MD, Physician at the Pediatric Medical Group of Watsonville, particularly focused on how primary pediatric care providers can offer targeted anticipatory guidance directed at risk behaviors at every well child check-up.  He provided resources such as the risk assessment tool by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Other preventative education he suggested included encouraging breastfeeding for at least a year, if possible; Discouraging putting a child to bed with a bottle; Limiting sugary foods and drinks to just at mealtimes; Encouraging children to drink water, preferably fluoridated water; and Establishing a first visit with a dentist age 1 or 2, earlier if disease is present. Dr. Clyne also discussed the importance of fluoride varnish as a great preventative tool that can be offered in the primary care and it is also a reimbursable service to the provider.  Fluoride can be provided by a fluoridated water supply, fluoridated toothpaste and/or by a fluoride varnish application. Community-based fluoridation of tap water has been shown to be one of the most cost effective public health measures of the modern age.

 

The Oral Health Forum was made possible thanks to the generous sponsorships and partnerships from the following organizations:

  • Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program                                                                                                                                  

  • Child Health and Disability Program

  • Children’s Dental Center in Santa Clara County

  • Dientes Community Dental Care

  • Encompass Head Start

  • First 5 of Santa Cruz County

  • Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust

  • Pediatric Medical Group of Watsonville

 

About the Central Coast Oral Health Collaborative: The Oral Health Collaborative was convened by the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust in July 2007. The Collaborative is made up of partnering organizations that are committed to improving the oral health of low-income and underserved populations by advocating for increased prevention, access and awareness.

 

Contact Us
For more information on our Central Coast Oral Health Collaborative or inquiries regarding membership participation, please contact Program Staff, phone 761-5695, or email.

 

Contact Us
For more information on our Central Coast Oral Health Collaborative or inquiries regarding membership participation, please contact Program Staff, phone 761-5695, or email. - See more at: http://www.pvhealthtrust.org/ohc-principles#sthash.wL4WmQQB.dpuf
Contact Us
For more information on our Central Coast Oral Health Collaborative or inquiries regarding membership participation, please contact Program Staff, phone 761-5695, or email. - See more at: http://www.pvhealthtrust.org/ohc-principles#sthash.wL4WmQQB.dpuf