Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Health, Human Services and Public Policy

First Advisor

Adrienne Saxton


In the U.S and state of California, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease and concerning health issue among children. The Head Start program in Monterey County serves about 1, 245 children annually from birth to five years of age. One requirement is that children obtain dental health checkups every six months, and receive dental treatment, if needed, as part of adhering to California's dental periodicity schedule. Over the past years, an increase of failed dental health assessments was observed among many children enrolled in the program. Obtaining and following through with treatment was an obstacle. The purpose of this capstone project is to identify dental health beliefs of parents using the health belief model. It is to inform parents of the severity of dental health issues through a dental health education class. The project was implemented in two Head Start sites: the Seaside Childhood Development Center and First Steps located in Salinas. Although no significant concerns or obstacles were identified coming from parents to ensure their children receive proper dental health at home, results from the dental health education class demonstrated parents gained awareness of dental health issues.