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Kerry’s Kids bring a new Dental Screening Clinic to the Community

Over the years, we have seen many children with significant dental problems who have not seen a dentist in years, if ever, as dental care for this population is even more difficult to access than medical care. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children and is linked to many health issues including ear and sinus infections, heart and lung disease. Approximately half of low-income children nation-wide have cavities in their primary teeth. A 2006 report from the Alameda County Public Health Department found that nearly half of kindergarteners and 3rd graders in low-income schools had untreated tooth decay and only 1 out of 5 receive protective dental sealants. In June 2011, with a generous grant from a private foundation, Kerry’s Kids was able to start a dental screening clinic to address these gaps in care for the most underserved and at-risk children.

Our dental screening clinic is run by a dentist who does a visual examination for cavities and other oral health concerns, applies fluoride varnish to decrease the risk of developing cavities, and provides comprehensive oral health and hygiene education. The dental screening clinic takes place with the medical clinics, so that a family can come to be seen and have both medical and dental concerns addressed.

We are also partnering with La Clinica de la Raza’s Dental Clinic at Children’s Hospital Oakland to provide more comprehensive dental care for children that we see in our screening clinics. If a child does not have a dentist and is in need of a comprehensive cleaning, xrays, or treatment such as getting cavities filled, we are able to provide the family with a referral and an appointment time before they leave our clinic, thereby taking care of one of many barriers to accessing dental care.

With this new program, we plan to improve the oral health of children in Alameda County, one cavity at a time.

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Kerry's Kids
936B Seventh St. PMB 129, Novato, CA 94945 | Phone: (510) 444-4326 | Email: info@kerryskids.org
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