To assure, promote, and protect the oral health of Humboldt County’s children by increasing their oral health awareness, knowledge, and self responsibility by developing positive, life-long oral health behaviors.
Teaching Oral Optimism throughout Humboldt County. (TOOTH), is an oral health program of the Redwood Community Action Agency, directed at providing education and preventive services to preschool through K-6th grade students and their families.
TOOTH originated from RCAA's Cesar Chavez Healthy Communities Project in 2001. Since 2002, TOOTH has served the preschool and K-6th grade population of Humboldt County children with the support of First 5 Humboldt and Circle of Smiles. After hosting the program for seven years, the California Conservation Corps transitioned the program to RCAA in 2009.
1. Oral Health Education and Prevention
Oral Health Educators will provide 11 lessons to every preschool in Humboldt County. Preschool curriculum will focus on the following topics, throughout various lessons:
- Proper tooth brushing technique, using small circles
- Brushing two times a day, for two minutes
- Visiting the dentist and losing teeth
- Germ prevention (hand washing, overing your cough & toothbrush sharing)
- Nutrition (food pyramid, everyday foods & special treats, health beverages
- Exercise & sleep
Oral Health lessons will be provided to 1st, 3rd and 5th grade students in all elementary schools throughout Humboldt County. The lessons will focus on the following topics.
- Proper tooth brushing & flossing
- Nutrition/exercise (Importance to teeth, food pyramid, need for exercise/water)
- Tobacco/drug use: gum disease, bone loss & oral cancer (5th grade only)
2. Community Education
TOOTH will provide oral health education, dental disease prevention workshops, and dental supplies to caregivers and parents in Humboldt County. This goal will be accomplished by providing workshops at First 5 playgroups, school parent nights, and participating in community health fairs.
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