Brush! brings dental care to kids

‘Brush!’ brings dental care to kids

New mobile clinic expands program that provides cleanings, helps youths brush up on teeth health

By Tribune staff

A new mobile dental health clinic will be at Dana Elementary School in Nipomo on Thursday as part of an effort to provide school-based oral health education and prevention for first- through third-graders.

The program — called “Brush! Brush! Brush!” — is sponsored by the Community Health Centers of the Central Coast. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, will attend. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to noon at the school at 920 W. Tefft St.

The clinic will allow CHC to provide oral health education, dental cleanings, fluoride varnishes and sealants to more than 1,600 additional uninsured and low-income children in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, according to a news release from Capps.

Currently, according to Capps, the CHC’s school-based health center program is accessible only at seven schools in two districts. The dental van will allow the CHC to provide low-cost care to children in at least 12 additional schools in four additional school districts.

Money for the van came from a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Funding was included in the health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act.

A former public health nurse in Santa Barbara schools, Capps said, “I know that school-based health centers are often the sole source of primary health care for our children. The arrival of the new mobile dental clinic will ensure that our children on the Central Coast are getting the care they need to be ready to learn and succeed in school.”

Others in attendance will include Linda Hogoboom, district nurse for the Lucia Mar Unified School District; Kathy Johnson, dental assisting program coordinator at Allan Hancock College; and teachers, parents, students and administrators from Dana Elementary School.