Drive-Thru Dental Service Providing Healthy Smiles for Kids
Apr 2, 2022
Fresno EOC Health Services is helping to give kids a smile. The program offers free dental health screenings for kids, including a fluoride varnish, at various Head Start locations and local school districts. The most recent event was held at Fresno EOC Head Start College Community in Clovis. The dental service is necessary because California law requires all children entering kindergarten in a public school to complete a Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment (KOHA). The screening looks at the child’s oral health and identifies any further care that may be needed.Health Services helps fulfill the KOHA requirement with its drive-thru service, which begins with health educators helping parents fill out intake forms. Health Services Program Manager Ana Hernandez says, “Once the form is completed, they will drive up to the dental hygienists, turn in those forms, and the child will have the dental screening, which includes a fluoride varnish. The varnish is a protective coating of fluoride applied to the teeth to prevent cavities. It is a quick and pain-free process which can be done up to four times a year.”The visit wraps up with the child and parent receiving oral health education to help the student learn essential brushing and flossing techniques, as well as the importance of maintaining a well-balanced diet. They also receive a dental kit with a toothbrush, toothpaste, stickers, coloring book, crayons, and a two-minute timer. The timer is intended to remind them to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes. Ana says, “We also tell them they need to visit their dentist twice a year. It’s a two-two-two rule (brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and visit your dentist twice a year) that we always encourage them to follow, especially because COVID-19 forced children to stay home from school. So, they didn’t have the routine they did prior to COVID when they would wake up, brush their teeth and go to school. So, we don’t know that they are brushing their teeth when they wake up. You know, they may just wake up and go to class. So, that’s something we like to share with parents.”The Fresno EOC Health Services free fluoride varnish events are available through partnerships with Fresno EOC Head Start 0 to 5, Fresno Unified School District, Fowler Unified School District, and Washington Unified School District. Click here to learn about eligibility and an event near you.
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Fresno EOC Health Services offers a wide variety of programs, including:
- Community Health Center Clinic – a primary care and comprehensive family planning clinic on R Street in downtown Fresno
- Oral Health Education Program – provides individuals with the opportunity to learn health information, develop skills needed to make better health decisions, and lead healthy lifestyles. The program educates children and families about proper dental hygiene, nutrition, and the importance of seeing a dental provider regularly
- Adolescent Family Life Program (AFLP) – provides comprehensive case management services to pregnant and parenting teens and their children
- California Personal Responsibility Education Program (CAPREP) – provides free classes to inform and prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce high rates of sexually transmitted infections, and improve individuals’ sexual health and well being
- Tobacco Education Program – offers presentations and resources to the community about the risk of tobacco-related diseases as well as smoke-free policies
- School-Based Sealant Program – provides preventive oral health services, such as oral health education, dental sealants, and fluoride varnishes for elementary school-age children
- Home Visitation Program (HVS) – serves Medi-Cal-eligible families in Fresno County with children aged 0 to 5. We offer comprehensive family services, developmental assessments for children, and community-based referrals to resources that address the child’s and family’s overall needs. Our goal is to improve children’s development as well as the family’s overall well-being. Call (559) 715-8481 for additional information.