ALTURA CENTERS FOR HEALTH: Oral Health Program
The dental team at Altura Centers for Health (ALTURA) knows the importance of building good habits early in a child’s life, especially when it comes to good oral hygiene. Since 2008, ALTURA has partnered with local schools and Head Start programs, providing free oral screenings and oral hygiene lessons to preschoolers and kindergarteners in Tulare, generously funded by First 5 Tulare County. This collaboration has impacted the lives of over 16,500 children, providing free oral screenings, fluoride varnish, and oral hygiene lessons.
Every fall, preschool and kindergarten students receive oral screenings and fluoride varnish in the Nurse’s Office at their school campus; children are sent home with a toothbrush, toothpaste, flosser, and coloring book. During the spring semester, a Registered Dental Hygienist visits the classrooms to teach students how to properly brush and floss. Children receive a book, toothbrush, flosser, toothpaste, “How to brush and floss” pamphlet, and timer.
Maria Solorio, Registered Dental Hygienist, loves teaching Oral Hygiene Lessons. She fills her wagon with goodie bags, books, and a puppet, and spends one day a week during the spring semester at a different school site. She stresses the importance of brushing your teeth (and tongue) twice a day and flossing daily. Maria encourages the children to interact during the lesson, helping her identify what types of foods make our teeth “happy” or “sad”. Maria finishes her time with the children by using a puppet to demonstrate the proper techniques of brushing and flossing. At the end of the lesson, the children are delighted to take turns brushing and flossing the puppet’s teeth.
By making it fun for the children to learn about oral hygiene, ALTURA strives to instill good oral health habits that will enable children to keep their teeth healthy for life!
Altura Centers for Health (ALTURA) is a 501(C)(3) non-profit health center, with eight clinical locations providing affordable quality health and dental care. Services provided include Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Specialty Consults, Behavioral Health, Chiropractor, Certified Enrollment Counselors, Health Education, free transportation, outreach, and more. Visit www.altura.org. Call or text (559)686-9097 for an appointment.