To build an environment of oral health awareness by engaging the community with education and promotion of preventative measures for optimal oral health.
"Healthy Mouth for a Healthy Life."
What We Do
Funded through the California Healthcare, Research, and Tobacco Prevention Act of 2016 (Prop 56), the five year Oral Health Program strives to meet the oral health needs of Lake County and address its burden of oral disease.
Since its establishment in 2017, the Oral Health Program has largely focused on community outreach and education. Preventative dental care is best for maintaining oral health, so school-based programs have been implemented to offer preventative dental services to students. Additionally, oral health kits containing educational materials and dental hygiene products have been distributed to community members county-wide.
Going forward, we hope to expand our efforts and provide further support to community members in their oral health journey.
- Promote consistent oral health education, messaging, and outreach in the community
- Improve access to oral healthcare and prevention for the under-served
- Sustain and expand oral health programs and initiatives
- Collect accurate data to measure key indicators of oral health
- Collective impact: We value collaboration and shared passion of all partners to improve the oral health of the community
- Realistic goals: We agree to set goals that are achievable and aligned with our core purpose
- Value each individual: We treat each person with dignity and compassion and create opportunities that foster safety and promote personal empowerment
- Respect: We respectfully listen, appreciate the unique gifts of every person, and maintain an attitude of non-judgement, empathy and humility
- Mutual trust: We recognize that community members share our commitment to improve oral health for themselves and for their families
- Empowerment through education: We believe that community education is critical to increase oral healthy literacy and to empower residents to make healthy choices
- Equitable access: We believe that all individuals in our community deserve quality comprehensive oral health care that is local, accessible, and equitable
- Children are our future: We recognize that improving oral health in the community is generational and needs to start at the beginning of life
- What is oral health?
Oral health concerns the health of your teeth, gums, and mouth as a whole. Often considered to be unrelated to overall health, oral health is actually a major component. As you would see a doctor regularly for general check-ups, you should see a dentist for the same reason. Receiving a dental exam and routine cleaning at least once a year are key actions you should take to ensure your mouth stays healthy.
- Why is oral health important?
Although oral conditions are often considered separate from other health conditions, they are actually interrelated. Poor oral health is associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It can cause unnecessary pain and suffering, lead to missed school and work, and cost a significant amount of money. Conditions such as tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss are all direct results of poor oral health. For these reasons, it is in your best interest to care for your mouth as much as you care for your body.
Keeping your mouth healthy is a lifelong commitment that begins with learning proper oral health habits. Dentists play an important role and should be seen regularly. Along with regular brushing and flossing, dentist visits can help minimize oral health problems. With proper care, costly dental procedures and long-term health issues can be prevented.
- When should I see a dentist?
You should see a dentist regularly for check-ups, which is usually once or twice a year, but can be more depending on your situation. However, if you experience any unusual symptoms, you should see a dentist as soon as possible.
- How do I choose a dentist?
Choosing a primary dental care provider is a big decision. To aid in your decision-making, it is a good idea to have a consultation with potential providers and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. It also gives you an opportunity to get a feel for the atmosphere and the office environment. You want to choose a dental office that is comfortable, welcoming, and clean.
- When should my child start seeing a dentist?
Your child should see a dentist after their first tooth erupts, but no later than their first birthday. This is because they can develop cavities as soon as they have teeth. It is best to be proactive, rather than reactive.
- When should I start brushing my child's teeth?
As soon as your child's first tooth comes in, you should begin brushing their teeth to remove plaque on the surface. You can use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush or a damp cloth, whichever you find works best for you.
- Since they are going to fall out anyway, are baby teeth really that important?
Yes, baby teeth are important because, as said by American Dental Association dentist Dr. Maria Lopez-Howell, "They are nature's braces." Baby teeth serve as placeholders for your child's permanent teeth that will come in at later ages.
- Is fluoride safe for my child?
Fluoride, being a natural-occurring mineral, is safe for human intake. Nearly all water contains a small amount of fluoride; it is also found in soil, plants, and food. Receiving a fluoride varnish or drinking fluoridated water is simply a way to increase teeth's exposure to fluoride to maximize its effectiveness against tooth decay.