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Oral Health and Dental Services
The Health Trust has invested more than $8.6 million to improve the oral health of residents in Silicon Valley. By using a community outreach model to educate residents on good oral health habits, The Health Trust has taken proactive, preventive measures to improve the overall health of the community. The Health Trust also connects families to health care and dental providers by offering health insurance enrollment assistance.
While strides have been made in improving the oral health of Silicon Valley, we can still do better. The following statistics of Santa Clara County were the result of studies done over the last decade:
- More than half of children from low-income families enter kindergarten with untreated tooth decay.
- 22% of children under the age of 13 have never seen a dentist.
- One-third of adults have lost a tooth due to decay or gum disease.
- 28% of adults did not have dental insurance last year.
- Asian and Hispanic kindergartners have three times the incidence rates of tooth decay compared to their white counterparts.
The Health Trust addresses the oral health challenges in Silicon Valley in three ways: sponsoring two Children's Dental Centers in Sunnyvale and east San Jose, conducting oral health education workshops in the community, and supporting water fluoridation in San Jose.
Children’s Dental Centers
The Health Trust, in partnership with Children's Dental Group opened its first Children's Dental Center in east San Jose in June of 2008. Three years later, The Health Trust’s Children’s Dental Center of Sunnyvale opened. The Children’s Dental Centers represent an innovative approach to providing pediatric dentistry that is significantly improving access to high-quality dental care for the children of Silicon Valley. It combines the latest equipment, technologies and best practices of pediatric dentistry with a fun, kid-friendly environment that is welcoming to all children and families. Click here to learn more or take a virtual tour!
Oral Health Education (Part of the Wellness Access & Education Program)
The Health Trust provides oral health outreach and education through promotoras who are community health workers trained on general concepts about oral health. The promotoras conduct outreach in English and in Spanish and recruit families to host home meetings where the oral health education is delivered to small groups of children and adults. Emphasis is placed on four principles of oral health: proper brushing, daily flossing, balanced diet and seeing the dentist on a regular basis. Last year, over 1,000 individuals received oral health education in homes and community sites. For more information on our oral health education workshops, contact THTHealthEducation@healthtrust.org or call 408.961.9877.
Water fluoridation is an "effective, safe, and inexpensive" (U.S. Surgeon General) way to improve the overall oral health of our community. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that "Community water fluoridation is one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century." Despite these benefits, San Jose is currently the largest city in the United States without fluoridated water. The Health Trust supports Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss’ goal of fluoridating Santa Clara County within the next five years and is working with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department and community members towards a solution. Click here to learn more or support water fluoridation!
Learn more about water fluoridation
Show your support for water fluoridation!