Community Action Partnership has designed and maintained a system of Oral Health Prevention and Early Intervention for the county’s WIC (The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) population.
The US Surgeon General has identified early childhood caries (Ecc) as the most common chronic childhood disease; it is five times more prevalent than asthma. It is a highly infectious disease caused by bacteria easily transmitted from person to person and from caregiver to child. Childhood Caries can lead to serious consequences if left untreated. Due to the infection and pain of untreated dental disease, children are unable to get adequate nutrition or sleep. Without these, children do not do well in school. Millions of school days are lost each year, nationwide, due to dental problems. Ironically, those at highest risk are also those who face the greatest barriers to accessing early and ongoing dental care. Although Ecc is exceedingly prevalent among young children, it is also highly preventable with early intervention. Early identification of oral diseases like Ecc can reduce the risk of, arrest, or even reverse disease. The Wic Access Initiative provides a simple yet powerful solution to the problem of preventing dental disease in low income children. Dental Days at Wic is able to provide dental care at an age when the disease can actually be prevented. This project provides dental assessments, parent education, fluoride varnish, and care coordination on site for needed treatment of children enrolled in Wic programs.
Accepted to the Portfolio: December 2014