Teeth Week 2018 – Healthier Teeth, Healthier Lives
It’s once again time for Teeth Week, and the perfect opportunity for Spokane to encourage good oral health. As part of Teeth Week, we are engaging our partners and the community to help promote the message; Healthier Teeth, Healthier Lives.
Help spread the message that oral health is an important part of overall health by following Smile Spokane on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and by sharing our Teeth Week posts using the hashtags #TeethWeek2018, #SmileSpokane, and #Spokane.
This year, the SmileMobile will be spending 3 days in Spokane providing care to pregnant and postpartum women at the Spokane Regional Health District, October 2-4. Currently, approximately 40 percent of pregnant women have tooth decay and/or gum disease. Health care providers are increasingly emphasizing the importance of dental care for pregnant women. For a long time, dental care during pregnancy was not considered part of routine prenatal care. However, the standard of care has changed and dental care is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. It’s important for pregnant women to get any cavities treated before giving birth because the infectious germs that cause cavities can be spread from mom to child through common activities such as sharing food, utensils, or even kisses.
October 5-7, our talented and compassionate SmileMobile team will be moving to the Salvation Army to treat adults with emergent needs. Many in our community struggle to get access to dental care and unfortunately, Spokane has a particularly high rate of decay because there is not enough fluoride in the water to prevent cavities. Currently, 1 in 3 Spokane County adults has lost one or more teeth to decay. Often times, patients with intense mouth pain end up in emergency rooms seeking expensive care for problems that are largely preventable.
The SmileMobile and Teeth Week are part of a comprehensive approach. Smile Spokane and community partners are working collectively to improve oral health in Spokane. Together, we are leading the charge to prevent oral disease through innovative efforts from community education, awareness, and school-based oral health screening and sealants, to increasing access to care through teledentistry, care coordination for individuals with chronic behavior health challenges, seniors, and individuals with disabilities, and by provide training, tools and technical assistance to primary care providers to address their patients’ oral health needs.
With 1 in 3 Spokane adults having lost one or more teeth to decay, and with kindergarten children in Spokane being more likely to have rampant decay than their peers statewide, we have some serious work to do.
One last thing – please take a minute to learn more about effective prevention strategies including fluoride, sealants, regular dentist visits and more. You’ll be glad you did because prevention saves money and improves health!
Jerrie Allard, Smile Spokane Partner Liaison