Smile Humboldt E-Newsletter for the Humboldt County Dental Advisory Group (DAG)
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August 2016 



For more information on oral health resources in our community

From the Oral Health Consultant
Leigh Pierre-Oetker, Humboldt County Public Health

Hoping everyone has had an enjoyable summer!  Here at Public Health we continue to work on the application to  become a Local Dental Pilot Project as part of the new MediCal 2020 Waiver's Dental Transformation Initiative. In the last 2 months we have really focused the scope of work on this grant into some primary areas with the following goals in mind:
  1. Reduce the overall risk for caries for children participating in a are coordination model.
  2. Increase continuity of care for children on MediCal
  3. Increase the utilization of preventive services for children on MediCal
  4. Increase the provision of dental prevention services in primary care and community based settings.
Our key activities around these goals include working with some strategic partners as part of this pilot program:
  • Open Door/Burre Dental Clinic
  • Redwoods Rural Health Center
  • Kimaw Medical Center/Kimaw Dental
  • Redwood Community Action Agency/TOOTH
  • Public Health-WIC Program
  • Humboldt Network of Family Resource Centers
  • California Center for Rural Policy
Some of these key activities include a heavy emphasis on care coordination and referral with the idea that we want to make families and children successful in their efforts to get preventive services and continue to create good oral health habits. 

We will be piloting a shared Caries Risk Assessment Form between our participating FQHC's (Burre Dental Clinic has created an excellent CRA tool that we will use) as well as the creation of a Family Dental Plan (FDP) that will help families establish goals based on a the risk level determined by the CRA.  Those FDP's will be part of the work done by new Care Coordinator positions that will be created under the Public Health umbrella. 

All this with an increased emphasis on good data collection so we can properly evaluate the effectiveness of these efforts.

That's just a sample of some of the new strategies we will be implementing if in fact we are chosen as a Local Dental Pilot Project grantee.

The grant deadline is September 30th with decisions being made by the Department of Health Care Services by December 6th, 2016.

If you have any questions about this work, please do not hesitate to contact me at 707-268-2172 or email: and for more information on the MediCal 2020 Waiver-Dental Transformation Initiative go to:

Oral Health Resources & Articles
Campaign for Dental Health Newsletter
Fluoride Keeps Teeth StrongWhat did you think about oral health when you were five years old? Chances are you didn't think about it at all, unless you had a painful cavity.
We asked preschoolers to talk about how brushing their teeth keeps them healthy and strong. See what these four, five and six year olds have to say about keeping their teeth shiny and strong in a series of new videos from the Campaign for Dental Health.
Check out the Share page of the site for these and more videos and great shareable images to help you spread the word about why life is better with teeth.



The Campaign for Dental Health has been collaborating with organizations around the country on oral health and a variety of other health and wellness topics. Salud America, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded anti-obesity effort, has published several blog posts that we have written for their audience. A post on fluoride varnish entitled Your Child's Doctor Can Help with Teeth!, by Susan Fisher-Owens, MD, MPH, FAAP, is the most recent in a series of guest blog posts. Community Water Fluoridation 101 was posted in March and What is "Community Water Fluoridation"? was posted in April. Check them out!

The Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation's new Cavities Get Around ads in English and Spanish are now live and graphically highlight the amount of sugar we ingest from juice. Check them out!
30-second TV ad:
15-second TV ad – soccer scene: 15-second TV ad – bedtime scene:


Promoting Oral Health in Schools: A Resource Guide

Promoting healthy behaviors among students is an important part of the fundamental mission of schools. To assist in this effort, OHRC produced Promoting Oral Health in Schools: A Resource Guide (3rd ed.) to help health professionals, program administrators, educators, and others promote oral health and prevent oral disease in school-age children and adolescents.

The resource guide is divided into two sections. The first section describes materials, such as brochures, fact sheets, guidelines, curricula, and reports. The second section lists federal agencies and national professional associations, coalitions, and resource centers that may serve as resources. Your state and local departments of health and state and local oral-health-related associations, coalitions, and societies are additional sources of information.

Rural Health Information Hub Update

Organized Dentistry Brings Oral Health Awareness to Health Workers in Navajo Nation
Jul 15, 2016 -- A collaborative effort among the Navajo Nation, the Arizona American Indian Oral Health Initiative, the Arizona Dental Association (ADA), and the ADA's Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations has resulted in an initiative to provide in-person training for Community Health Representatives and promote good oral health habits.
Source: American Dental Association News 


Starting Early: Child Oral Health Program Triples Preventive Visits
An innovative dental program that serves low-income and uninsured children in Los Angeles, the UCLA-First 5 LA 21st Century Dental Homes Project, has more than tripled preventive dental visits for children from birth to age 5, according to a new policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
Some parents may think that because primary teeth, or baby teeth, naturally fall out, they don't need to be cleaned and checked. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a first dental exam between eruption of a child's first tooth and age 1. Preschoolers' teeth also need to be brushed daily with fluoride toothpaste, according to the academy.
"The majority of young children aren't receiving crucial preventive and oral health services that they need," said Nadereh Pourat, director of research at the Center and co-author of the study. "Avoiding cavities in primary teeth promotes healthy teeth for the rest of children's lives."
Read the press release: Starting early: Child oral health program triples preventive visits
Read the policy brief: An Innovative Project Breaks Down Barriers to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable Young Children in Los Angeles County

Upcoming Webinars
Oral Health America Webinar Series
"Oral Health Policy Update"
Date: Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 at 2:00pm CST
 The webinar will be an overview of the current children’s dental coverage landscape and updates on recent developments, including a proposed rule by the IRS that would make ACA dental coverage more affordable for families.
Colin Reusch is the Senior Policy Analyst at the Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) where he tracks implementation of health care reform, coordinates state-level policy development and advocacy efforts, conducts policy research, and provides guidance and direction in identifying and pursuing policy initiatives as they relate to improving oral health. 

"Oral Care in Long Term Care"
Date: Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 at 1:00pm CST
Oral disease has the potential to create or exacerbate other health problems for the older adult population. This webinar will introduce HyLife Oral Care Services and its assistance in improving the oral health of our elders so they don't die from dirty teeth. 
Angie Stone, RDH, BS, is the founder of HyLife, LLC and author of the book entitled, "Dying from Dirty Teeth", which is a culmination of 13 years of work, experiences and dedication to serving the elder community. 

Mary Jensen, RDH, MS has practiced as a registered dental hygienists for over 35 years, including three years in Switzerland. Mary currently works as an Independent Oral Specialist with HyLife, LLC, providing weekly oral hygiene care to dependent seniors. 

2016 Little Hoover Commission Report:
"Fixing DentiCal"

On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, the Little Hoover Commission adopted its report on California’s Medicaid dental program, Denti-Cal,
Fixing Denti-Cal


The report is available on the Commission’s website here

DAG Outreach & Marketing Committee
Next Meeting:   Friday, August 19th 3:00-4:00
Public Health Conference Room 
529 I Street (corner of 6th & I)-Eureka

Humboldt County Dental Advisory Group (DAG)
Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 13th 2016 12:00-2:00
Eureka Community Health & Wellness Center
2200 Tydd Street
~Lunch Will Be Served~


Be part of our
"You CAN Prevent Dental Decay"

smilehumboldt campaign

Contact Leigh at 268-2172 or  for more details.....
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