Children’s Oral Health Mobile Screening Center
Empower families to build a strong & healthy foundation through education & community connection.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of children ages 5-11 (20%) & adolescents ages 12-19 (13%). Despite the fact that tooth decay has become a growing concern, only 50% of children enrolled in Iowa Medicaid received a preventive dental service in 2018. Untreated dental problems can lead to pain & more serious health problems. The Children’s Oral Health Mobile Screening Center will provide free preventive oral health screenings, varnish, sealants & silver diamine fluoride treatments to school-age children in school or after-school programs. These services will improve access to routine dental care & assist local dental providers in triaging the most critical needs in the aftermath of COVID-19 forced closures. Waitlists for pediatric dental providers are at least 3 months, therefore utilizing the mobile screening center to prioritize the most acute cases will ease the waitlist burden for a child with dental pain.
These funds would allow FAMILY to purchase a toy hauler trailer to be gutted and custom fit to the needs of mobile dental screening center. These funds would also be used to purchase a generator as a power source. Once purchased and customized, all ongoing operation costs for the mobile screening center will be provided by FAMILY, Inc.
The urgent need for the mobile screening center in the coming year is to provide preventative oral health screenings to assist with triaging patient needs alongside pediatric dental providers in response to mandated COVID closures. Moreover, FAMILY provides ongoing oral health prevention in community locations such as parks, emergency shelters & community events for which this trailer will continue to be utilized years into the future. Much of FAMILY’s Southwest Iowa service area is rural; this mobile screening center would provide increased opportunities for screenings in rural communities. Many of these communities face transportation barriers which could easily be overcome by bringing care directly to those who need it most. The importance of preventative oral health care cannot be understated. The Southwest Iowa community will show the lasting impact of this grant for generations to come through improved oral health & brighter smiles from those seen at the mobile screening center.