City of El Paso’s Pediatric Mobile Dental Clinic to Visit Duarte Head Start Wednesday

As February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, the City of El Paso’s mobile dental clinic will be in the High Desert Wednesday.

“Healthy teeth are an important part of children’s overall health and school readiness,” said Health Program Manager Arturo Oaxaca. “This partnership is a valuable resource that allows us to provide services and educate underserved children and their families about proper oral hygeine.”

Join us Wednesday, February 28, at Pete Duarte Head Start (500 S Darrington) from 9 a m – 2 pm as Rawlings Dental Clinic professionals provide free dental screenings for at-risk children in the program.

Bad breath has many causes, but the primary cause is untreated tooth decay. The human mouth is home to billions of bacteria. These microscopic organisms multiply in your mouth (tongue, teeth, gums, cheeks, etc.) which produce waste products that break down the enamel on the teeth.

The Rawlings Pediatric Dental Clinic is a program under the City of El Paso Department of Public Health. The dental clinic offers a range of services from examinations to restorative treatments and nutritional counseling at a low cost based on income. To be eligible children must be 6 months to their 21st birthday and live in El Paso County.

In early childhood, dental caries remains one of the most common chronic diseases due to the lack of access to oral health care.In efforts to change this, Performance Standards require Head Start programs to make tooth-brushing part of the children’s classroom routine. Under teacher supervision, children must brush their teeth at least once during school hours.

The program provides the resources and guidance with the goal to instill healthy dental habits that will carry through for life.

Children with dental pain can have trouble speaking clearly, eating, and learning. Head Start preschool children, three to five years of age with signed parent consent forms, receive a free screenings to identify any concerns such as tooth decay or gum disease. Children also receive learning materials that include a toothpaste, toothbrush and brushing instructions.

The Head Start Health Services Department works directly with parents to make sure children who are at risk visit a dental office.

“We hope to educate families about the importance of oral health. It is vital that parents supervise and assist children with tooth-brushing and flossing,” said Rawlings Pediatric Dental Clinic Coordinator Robert Taylor. “Children don’t learn to brush their teeth properly until age seven. We want children and families to learn proper oral hygiene and help them develop healthy habits early in life.”

In the classroom, teachers are aligning instructional activities in support of this year’s National Children’s Dental Health Month Campaign, “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.”

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