The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health will launch a public oral health awareness campaign and distribute 58,000 toothbrushes in observance of National Children’s Dental Health Month in February.
“Poor oral health is the No. 1 cause of school absenteeism – and it’s entirely preventable,” said
Maryjane Puffer, executive director of the L.A. Trust. Screenings of 3,399 elementary school students in Los Angeles found that 66% of children had active dental disease, 27% had visible tooth decay and 6% required emergency care.
Puffer said the L.A. Trust is working with partners in the oral health community, including the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Student Health and Human Services, LAUSD’s Beyond the Bell division, UCLA’s More L.A. Smiles, L.A. County Department of Public Health and other agencies, foundations and dental care providers. Puffer added that Crest provided thousands of the toothbrushes for distribution.
LAUSD Board member Scott Schmerelson took the L.A. Trust’s “Brushing with Billy” campaign directly to children during a virtual puppet show on Feb. 3 showing students how to brush, floss and eat healthy.
“Improving the health and lives of all L.A. Unified students and providing access to oral healthcare is a critical element to ensuring student achievement and success,” Schmerelson said.
The L.A. Trust is also releasing three oral health videos on social media this month, in conjunction with UCLA More LA Smiles.
For information, visit thelatrust.org.
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