Low-income kids receive dental care at OC schools

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Thousands of low-income children in Orange County received much-needed dental care while they were still in the classroom. (KABC)

Thousands of low-income children in Orange County received much-needed dental care while they were still in the classroom.

The program is a result of a grant from the California Department of Health Care Services. Local health advocates said the need for dental care in low-income communities is great.

"It's an amazing program for our kids and having them actually be on campus where kids feel comfortable and they feel like this is not going to the dentist, this is someone (they) can trust," said Erasmo Garcia, principal of Danbrook Elementary School.

Children had bleeding on their gums, severe decay, inflammation, abscesses and pain to the point of not eating, according to Elisa Briseno, with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County.

While treatment is the focus, the program is also about educating children and parents about the importance of dental hygiene.

The grant is for more than $12 million and will allow the program to expand to 11 mobile units across Orange County.

"So the two wins here are that you're in the environment that the kid is familiar with, but you're also reducing barriers for parents that make it hard. Many of these families have both parents working, so getting to a dental clinic means time off work, it means a transportation issue. It really reduces those barriers," said Kim Hill, with the commission.

The hope is that the program will translate to a lot more smiles.

Related Topics:
healthdentistchildren's healthhealth caremoneycommunityOrange CountyAnaheim
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