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The Humboldt County Dental Advisory Group invites residents to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month in February with free events and dental supplies.
As part of a national awareness campaign started by the American Dental Association, the advisory group, along with multiple community partners, will be hosting educational activities and opportunities for families to receive free toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss.
The group will also host a mini dental fair during the St. Joseph Health Fair on Saturday, Feb. 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bayshore Mall.
The month of February will also kick off a new countywide campaign, Smile Humboldt, to educate the community that while tooth decay is the most common chronic disease found in children, it is largely preventable with regular access to a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss as well as access to important preventive measures like fluoride varnish, dental sealants and fluoridated water.
The campaign aims to create awareness and support, particularly in making sure that children and their families are never without oral health supplies, regardless of economic status.
The special kick-off event for the Smile Humboldt campaign will take place on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Humboldt County Main Library in Eureka. Families are encouraged to come and meet Sheriff TOOTH and receive free oral health supplies along with other prizes, and listen to guest speakers.
February will also see the launch of a new website, smilehumboldt.org, which will feature information on local resources, a calendar of activities in February, games for kids and educational information for parents along with a photo contest with a chance for participants to win an electric toothbrush.
The Dental Advisory Group has been working hard on access issues through a local pediatric oral health initiative launched 2 years ago. The initiative addresses the ongoing challenges children face in this community in getting access to care, particularly in areas that lack services and providers.
Humboldt continues to see a high rate of tooth decay in the incoming kindergarten population, particularly in certain parts of the county. The advisory group and Humboldt County Pediatric Oral Health Initiative Leadership Team are both working toward local solutions and advocacy to bring these numbers down.
For more information on the local Pediatric Oral Health Initiative, contact Humboldt County Public Health at 707-268-2172.
Follow us on Twitter: @HumCoDHHS.