Colgate and kool smiles team up for dental screenings

Colgate and Kool Smiles Team Up for Dental Screenings
Posted on 09/15/2017
Children Smiling

The Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures mobile dental van visited El Paso Head Start centers to help raise awareness about the importance of children’s dental health.

All Head Start programs are required to screen children and identify any developmental concerns for early intervention as part of the school readiness goals.

“This is the first time the Colgate dental mobile van visits Region 19 Head Start. This partnership is a valuable resource that allows us to provide services and educate Head Start parents about healthy habits,” Health Services Program Manager Arturo Oaxaca said. “These screenings are conducted as a preventative and early intervention measure to ensure children in our program are healthy and ready to learn.”

Children with dental pain can have trouble speaking clearly, eating, and learning. Head Start preschool children with signed parent consent forms will receive a free screening (visual exam) to identify any concerns such as tooth decay or gum disease. The screenings are conducted inside the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures mobile van. The visual exams are performed in collaboration with Kool Smiles of El Paso dental professionals.

“Through this partnership, we hope to educate Head Start parents about the importance of oral health. We are noticing an increase of cavities in children, so it is vital that parents supervise and assist their children with tooth-brushing,” Community Smile Maker Rosa Sanchez said. “Children don’t learn to brush their teeth properly until approximately age seven. Our goal is to educate parents on proper oral hygiene and help children and families develop healthy habits early in life.”

The dental office on wheels features two dental chairs and a friendly waiting area where children learn about healthy habits as they await their dental screening. This worldwide initiative makes approximately 3,200 van visits each year in the U.S and gives families the tools to make good oral health a lifelong habit.

“With the support of volunteer dental professionals, children ranging from three to 12 years of age all receive free dental check-ups, treatment referrals (if needed), and learning materials that include a tube of Colgate kid’s toothpaste, a Colgate kid’s toothbrush and brushing instructions,” Community Awareness Representative Travis Hiemenz said. “Organizations are invited to submit their local community for consideration. Our team collaborates with various community groups to identify areas in need for the upcoming year’s van schedule.”

Kool Smiles will provide parents with a brief findings form and treatment recommendations. The Head Start Health Services Department will work directly with parents to make sure children who are at risk visit their dental home or visit a Kool Smiles dental office.