“More than two-thirds of California’s children suffer from tooth decay,” stated Assemblyman and Orthodontist Bill Emmerson. In 2006 the California Dental Association sponsored legislation that requires children to have a dental check-up by May 31st of their first year in public school. We now call this Law AB 1433 or the Kindergarten Oral Health Requirement. Dr. Emmerson went on to state that “poor oral health has a substantial and negative impact on scholastic readiness and success, as oral diseases are infectious and contribute to many lost school hours, difficulty with eating, considerable pain and low self-esteem.” It has become pretty clear how we can directly help the young people of our local communities not only with their oral health but also to be healthy enough to have the educational opportunities that are so important.
To this end, SMCDS has stepped up to the plate and helped form The Oral Health Assessment Task Force (aka OHA Task Force), chaired by Dr. Carliza Marcos. The society’s role is to spear-head a collaborative effort to assist and support the schools of our community in implementing AB 1433, by providing free school screenings and preventative education to the children in our area.