Oral Health

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.

Broadcast date: 2/9/2017

It is widely believed that “the eyes are the window to your soul,” but what many don’t know is that the mouth is the window to the health of the body--or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body. Yet, a report by the American Dental Association found more than 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist each year. And many parents still believe that tooth decay (cavities) are just a normal part of growing up—with tooth decay one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the U.S. The CDC reports about 1 in 5 children 5 to 11 years of age have at least one untreated cavity—and yet they are nearly 100% preventable!