Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the oral health of children in Orange County through collaborations directed at prevention, education, access to treatment, and advocacy. Our vision is that through collaborations and partnerships, children in our community will enter school ready to learn and be pain free.
To accomplish our mission and address the interrelated issues our children and families face, Healthy Smiles’ programs and services are centered around three program initiatives:
Outreach and Prevention: Healthy Smiles’ Outreach and Prevention efforts consist of going out into the community at locations where there are families with children, especially young children and children with special health care needs. Through this program, we conduct visual dental screenings; apply fluoride varnish; and assist families without insurance or an established dental home with access to resources within proximity of their community. Through our Prevention Program, our Smile Mobiles and staff travel to the schools where greater than 75% of the children participate in the Free Lunch program in Orange County providing oral health education and dental care for children, targeting those with no insurance or Denti-Cal.
Education: Using evidence based oral health curricula, Health Smiles’ education programs for parents, children, teachers, medical providers, community educators and other professionals include oral health lessons on oral disease epidemiology, prevention interventions including the integration of the use of fluoride varnish at medical Well Child Visits, oral hygiene, the need for routine dental care starting at one year of age, tooth friendly nutrition and promotes physical activity to equal screen time for obesity prevention. Programs are conducted at community sites including schools, resource centers, and community health fairs throughout the County and tailored to the specific audience of the event.
Access to Treatment: Through the The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of University of Southern California, Advanced Pediatric Dental Residency Program, rotations in Orange County, Healthy Smiles has created an access point to treatment for dental disease under sedation for children that had not previously existed. With our Smile Center and Smile Clinic at CHOC Children’s Hospital, children now have access to routine prevention care as well as to restorative care under all levels of sedation.