Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy


Collaborative Health and Human Services

First Advisor

Stephanie McMurtrie


The Monterey County Health Departments Oral Health Program focuses on providing health education to improve the oral health outcomes within the county. School-age children in Monterey County have high rates of dental cavities. The Preventing Dental Cavities Before Kindergarten project was a health education presentation for preschool parents. Its purpose was to reduce children’s cavity rates before kindergarten by increasing parents' oral health knowledge and providing them with tools to support their children's cavity prevention. To measure effectiveness, parents were given a post-survey in which 100% reported increasing their oral health knowledge. Additionally, preschool staff were interviewed and reported an interest in collaborating with the program again in the future. The results proved health education presentations to be an effective way of increasing parents' oral health knowledge. Presentations should continue to target a younger population to further increase the success of cavity prevention before kindergarten.