Date

12-2019

Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Department

Health and Human Services

Major

Collaborative Health and Human Services

Abstract

The Monterey County Oral Health Program (MCOHP) is a program funded through the California Department of Public Health’s Oral Health Program that was made possible by the State’s $2 tobacco tax, Prop 56. The goal of the MCOHP is to address the oral health needs of the Monterey County community through prevention, education, and organized community efforts. In Monterey County, the rates of tooth decay among children are too high. The high rates are due to untreated tooth decay. According to the California Department of Public Health (2017), “Tooth decay is the most chronic condition experienced by children-far more than asthma or hay fever.” Tooth decay is caused by poor dietary choices and dental hygiene, shortage of dental professionals, and lack of oral health awareness. If tooth decay is left untreated, it can lead to significant consequences in children. Tooth decay can cause the child poor school-performance, experience pain, and tooth loss. Tooth decay can be preventable. A prevention program was developed and implemented to promote good oral health, raise awareness, train, and educate a group of Community Health Workers (CHWs) on oral health in Monterey County. The program consisted of training a group of CHWs in the topics associated with oral health. After the program was implemented, an evaluation form was given to parents for feedback, recommendations, and measure the success of the training. The training was a success, with CHWs repoting they gained knowledge about oral health and reported they felt ready to share the knowledge they learned with other parents to spread awareness. The program will continue to raise awareness and educate CHWs about the importance of oral health.

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