Achieving Community Health Together
Health District News A SPECIAL ISSUE:
Focus on Dental Health .....................
Smile!Introducing Sonrisas Dental Center Page 2 ........... Free Winter Wellness Classes at PHCD See Insert Inside
Oral Health Tips for All Ages Page 4 ..................... Get Your Free Book What To Do For Healthy Teeth Page 4
An interview with California’s First Dental Director
Improving the Oral Health of All Californians The Peninsula Health most common chronic childhood disease, Care District (PHCD), more common than both asthma and obesity, the San Mateo affecting nearly two-thirds of California’s County Oral Health children by the time they reach third grade. Coalition, and others What has been done to raise awareness that have documented prevention and dental health start in utero? wide gaps in access We have a number of programs not only in to dental care, California, but across the nation, amplifying impacting thousands of children, adults and seniors in San Mateo County. Without access the message that having a healthy mouth, before and during pregnancy, minimizes the to dental care, many people end up seeking risk of the spread of bacteria, and costly care in emergency rooms or experiencing treatment for mother and baby. general health complications. Jayanth V. Kumar, DDS, MPH, was appointed Prior to 2006, we didn’t have guidelines for oral health care during pregnancy. Since then, as California’s first state dental director in many states have published guidelines, and 2015 by Governor Jerry Brown. This position now at the national level, there are clinical is important for California’s oral health guidelines for both prenatal and dental care programs and access-to-care planning and providers. At the national level, the Title V policy goals. Dr. Kumar brings more than 25 Maternal and Child Care Services Block Grant years of experience from the New York State Program aims to improve the health and wellBureau of Dental Health, where he created being of women and children. That program the first comprehensive state oral health plan. has now included a performance measure to New York’s program is recognized as one of track progress with respect to dental visits of the finest in the country. pregnant women during pregnancy. In his role as dental director at the California Department of Public Health, Dr. Kumar is How important is oral health to overall health? responsible for establishing prevention and Good oral health has an impact on eating, oral health education projects and working sleeping, appearance, self-esteem, and overall to secure funding for prevention-focused oral quality of life. It’s all related to bacteria from health programs, particularly for children. the mouth causing infection and spreading Dr. Kumar’s focus is a natural fit for PHCD, to other parts of the body, including the which has made great strides in working to developing baby. Pregnant women are more bridge the gap for local health care needs by susceptible to gum infections and therefore funding and supporting the launch of a nonare more likely to be at risk for adverse profit dental center and a mobile dental outpregnancy outcomes, such as low birth reach program in San Mateo. The San Mateo weights. Center opened in 2015, joined forces with the Mothers can transmit cavity-causing germs to Sonrisas Center, and has established collabochildren. In fact, that’s how children acquire rations with many community organizations bacteria and, if they get cavities, the cycle of to meet unmet dental care needs. poor oral health continues for generations. Cheryl Fama, CEO of PHCD and Bonnie Jue, This is something not universally known. DDS, CEO and Dental Director of Sonrisas Dental Health, recently had the chance to How do the hormone changes during speak with Dr. Kumar about his work in pregnancy affect the mother’s gum health? California with a particular focus on children It’s common for women to notice changes in and pregnant women. Dental disease is the their gums during pregnancy. Continued on page 2
The gums tend to bleed a lot, especially when brushed, and look swollen and red. This is because of the way the body reacts to the bacteria, which leads to increased blood supply to the gums. The increased hormonal levels during pregnancy exacerbate this response. So, basically, gum infections—especially periodontal infections when it spreads to the bone and surrounding structures of the tooth—has a tendency to produce systemic inflammation and has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Preventive Dental Care for Adults and Children Comprehensive Exams, Dental Sealants, Cleanings and Gum Care, Fluoride Varnishes
General and Cosmetic Dentistry Fillings, Crowns, Bridges, Root Canal Treatment, Dentures, Tooth Extractions, Teeth Whitening
When the baby is born, what are key milestones to know for infant dental care? This is something new. When I went to dental school, we were taught to recommend that children see a dentist at age three. That changed around 2000 when age one become the recommended time for a dental visit. New parents should know about teething, feeding practices, cleaning the mouth and preparing infant formula using fluoridated water, and in non-fluoridated areas where water is low in fluoride, supplementing with fluoride drops and tablets. Discuss best practices for use of bottles, sippy cups, and pacifiers with your dentist. A parent will notice baby teeth emerging at six months. This is the perfect time to talk to the dentist about the first dental visit. It’s a good time to visit the dentist so young children become familiar with the office setting. It is especially timely because initial visits are pain-free, and very pleasant. It is important not to postpone the first dental visit until they have cavities. At that point, it can be more challenging to manage young children with dental issues.
What tips do you have for dental care during the early years of a child’s life? It is important to brush the teeth, give healthy foods, and take the child to a dentist. The American Academy of Pediatrics has an initiative on oral health. It is one of their priorities, and more pediatricians are involved in early oral health care. They provide screenings, fluoride varnishes to prevent cavities, anticipatory guidance and make referrals for dental care. It’s important for parents to know there are steps they can take to reduce the transmission of cavity-causing germs. One key step is cleaning the pacifier with water. Also, it is critical to clean the baby’s gums after every feeding, even before the first teeth come in. It’s common for a parent to taste food before feeding the baby with the same spoon, but that’s exactly what a parent should avoid. Use a different spoon to taste food yourself and another spoon entirely to feed your child. Most importantly, do not put your baby to sleep with a bottle of sugar-sweetened beverages. If babies need a bottle, the bottle can be filled with plain water. To read the full interview with Dr. Kumar, visit www.peninsulahealthcaredistrict.org.
Sedation Dentistry Nitrous-Oxide, IV Sedation (Coming Soon) According to findings in the 2016 San Mateo County Community Health Needs Assessment, there was a decrease in the percentage of surveyed adults who visited a dentist for a routine check-up in the past year and an increase in the percentage of surveyed adults who lack dental insurance. Sonrisas Dental Health addresses these gaps, giving everyone the chance to have a happy, healthy smile.
What is Sonrisas?
Formerly known as Apple Tree Dental, Sonrisas Dental Health is a non-profit organization that operates two sites: the Coastside Center located in Half Moon Bay, which is the original location that opened in 2001; and the San Mateo Center, which opened in 2015.
model that serves a portion of underserved, uninsured patients who face barriers to accessing dental care.
Sonrisas Means Smile in Spanish! The name reflects the mission: compassionate dental care and oral health education accessible to all
Both centers have served thousands of San Mateo County residents since joining together in 2015. The partnership is dedicated to a common vision and mission—providing quality compassionate dental care and oral health education that is accessible to all. “Our Sonrisas Dental Health Centers offer affordable quality dental services for people of all ages, including those with special needs and physical mobility limitations,” said Nigel Taverner, chair of the Sonrisas Board of Directors. “This non-profit model allows Sonrisas to be a catalyst for local collaboration to improve the oral health of the community, including the underserved.”
What makes Sonrisas unique? Sonrisas Dental Health provides a combination of high-quality dental care and customer service along with a business
The Centers have state-of-the-art equipment and an electronic health record system to facilitate continuity of patient care. The San Mateo Center has full wheelchair access, a ceiling-mounted lift system to help patients with limited mobility get into the dental chair, and “hover” chairs that can glide from side-to-side to accommodate wheelchairs. Sonrisas also provides a mobile program that brings dental equipment and service off-site to large employers, senior living facilities and coastal farmworkers.
Mobile Dental Care Sonrisas Dental Health operates a comprehensive mobile dental service that delivers on-site care to large employers, elderly nursing facility residents, disabled adults living in group homes, and lowincome children at Head Start centers, schools, and other locations.
Geriatric Dentistry Not long ago, many people assumed that as we age we would lose our natural teeth. Today, that’s not the case for older adults who are keeping their natural teeth longer than ever before.
Special Needs Patients Patients with special needs are those who due to physical, medical, developmental, or cognitive conditions require special consideration when receiving dental treatment.
As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit our core mission is to serve uninsured or underinsured individuals. This work often has us collect .25 cents for every $1 spent on treatment, so we rely on the generous backing from philanthropic groups, foundations, businesses and individuals in addition to our collection of fees for services. In our Get a Smile, Give a Smile program, for every privately insured patient seen at one of our Centers, another uninsured or underinsured patient can be served.
Two Convenient Locations
Sonrisas strives to improve the health of our community through culturally sensitive, integrated care. With a focus on prevention, Sonrisas treats all patients with respect, care and compassion, with the goal of turning patients into advocates for healthy living. Learn more at sonrisasdental.org.
Half Moon Bay San Mateo 210 San Mateo Rd, Ste 104 430 N El Camino Real Half Moon Bay, 94019 San Mateo, 94401 Mon–Thu 8 am–5 pm Mon–Fri 8 am–5 pm Closed Friday and Saturday Saturday by Appt 650-726-2144 650-727-3480 Sonrisas Dental Health accepts all major dental insurance plans and Denti-Cal. For every insured patient seen at one of the Centers, an uninsured or underinsured patient
1819 Trousdale Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010
SAN BRUNO MILLBRAE BURLINGAME HILLSBOROUGH SAN MATEO FOSTER CITY
telephone (650) 697-6900
Oral Health Tips for Every Age&Stage PHCD is with you every step of the way
Infant: How should I care for my baby’s teeth? Infants should go to the dentist when their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. If you see chalky white, brown, or black spots on the teeth, take the baby to the dentist.
Clean your baby’s gums after every feeding even before the first teeth come in. Use a clean, damp washcloth or a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head made for babies. Children: What are the best ways to help my young child learn good oral health habits? Brush your child’s teeth after breakfast and before bed. Use a child-size toothbrush with soft bristles. Use a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste for ages 3 to 6. For children under the age of 3, use a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Children like to do things for themselves. Let your child brush while you watch. It can be helpful to use a timer, a song or a game to build in enough time for proper and thorough brushing.
Read a book or watch a video about going to the dentist. Visit the PHCD website for a list of some of our favorites! Tips for Pregnant Moms: How do I care for my oral health while pregnant? If your last visit took place more than six months ago, or if you have any oral health problems or concerns, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. If you are experiencing morning sickness, rinse your mouth with a cup of water that has a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in it, after vomiting. This will help prevent damage to your teeth. Tips for Preventing Oral Injuries: How do I protect my child? Always use a buckle whenever possible, such as when the child is on a changing table. This is also important when the child is in a high chair, booster seat, stroller, shopping cart or car seat. Don’t let your child run or walk with a sippy cup, toy, popsicle, lollipop or other item in their mouth.
Rick Navarro, M.D. Vice Chair Helen C. Galligan, R.N. Secretary
Did you know that dental care has been identified by pediatricians as the greatest unmet health care need in children in the U.S.? This book “What To Do for Healthy Teeth,” by Sadie Mestman and Ariella Herman, is designed to help families understand the importance of dental hygiene and how to spot potential oral problems. The book’s authors are educators of childcare and health care management. Both have tremendous experience teaching about dental health and wellness issues. By reading this book, you will learn about the questions adults, children, and their caregivers have about dental health. Learn how to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy.
First Dental Visit: How do I prepare my child? Play a pretend game before the first visit. Practice sitting in the dental chair and looking in your child’s mouth.
Board Of Directors Lawrence W. Cappel, Ph.D. Chairman
To receive a free copy of “What To Do for Healthy Teeth”, sign up to participate in the Peninsula Health Care District’s FlashVote community. The first 100 sign-ups will receive a free copy. FlashVote is an innovative new public engagement tool that collects flashvote.com/phcd fast, convenient, and anonymous input from you, via phone, text or web. We send one survey per month that will take no longer than one minute to complete. To learn more and to sign up for FlashVote, visit www.flashvote.com/phcd. We value and appreciate your input!
Dennis Zell, Esq. T reasurer Frank Pagliaro, Esq. Director
Chief Executive Officer Cheryl A. Fama, M.P.A, R.N.