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Culture and Identity

Central Coast Voices: Efforts to expand access to oral healthcare

Broadcast date: 2/7/2019

Nationwide, dental care is the most prevalent unmet health need for children in low-income families and children with special needs. In San Luis Obispo County, close to 45 percent of children have cavities by the time they reach third grade—and that number increases to nearly 70 percent for children in low-income communities. For many, getting treatment for the resulting toothache is not simple: countywide, more than 12,000 children enrolled in Medi-Cal Dental lack access to regular dental care. Untreated dental disease is linked to problems with nutrition, speech, self-esteem, and even success at school, as children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely to miss class time as a result of dental pain. Now, the county's Public Health Department is expanding its oral health program to ensure more children get the dental care they need.

Join host Fred Munroe as he speaks with guests Barbara Morrow, RDH, BS, Oral Health Program Manager for the County of San Luis Obispo, Joel Diringer, JD, MPH, public health expert and advocate with SLO County’s Oral Health Coalition and Koushan Azad, DDS, a dentist and owner of several clinics that accept Medi-Cal Dental insurance, including CaliDental in San Luis Obispo as they discuss community efforts to improve oral health on the Central Coast.

Central Coast Voices is sponsored by ACTION for Healthy Communities in collaboration with KCBX.

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