Keep Your Kids Smiling During Children’s Dental Health Month
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, a good time to review tips for your child’s oral health. Good habits start early! Those include:
- Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Daily flossing
- A healthy diet, avoiding sugary drinks and snacks
- Regular dental visits
The American Dental Association recommends a dental visit as soon as your child’s first tooth appears and no later than the first birthday. In addition to cleanings and dental exams, your dentist can apply fluoride varnishes and sealants to help prevent tooth decay.
Unity Care NW’s Mobile Dental Program is doing its part to ensure healthy smiles throughout Whatcom County too! The Mobile Dental Program provides routine dental care at all elementary and middle schools, most high schools, Head Start programs, and daycare centers across Whatcom County. Mobile Dental Program staff provide on-site exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, and oral hygiene instruction. Watch our video about this terrific program!
Still Facing a “Fiscal Cliff”
We are pleased that Congress is extending short-term funding for the nation’s community health centers. Unfortunately, however, the funding package does not provide the long-term certainty and sustainability that health centers need to do our work. In 2017, the nation’s community health centers went over a “fiscal cliff” when Congress failed to provide funding for five months. As a May 22, 2020 deadline to fully fund community health centers approaches, we’re facing another fiscal cliff.
As a Federally-Qualified Health Center, Unity Care NW receives federal grant funding each year. This funding has been critical to the operation, expansion, and construction of health centers nationwide. At Unity Care NW, these funds helped make the 2016 construction of our adult dental and expanded behavioral health facilities a reality. Legislation that was finally passed in early 2018 extended federal funding for another two years, through September 30, 2019. Congress extended that deadline until December 20th, and now the deadline has been extended again to May 22, 2020.
While there are proposals to provide stable, long-term funding to community health centers, we continue to face another deadline for action. Learn more about current proposals being considered and how to voice your support for community health centers.