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October is National Dental Hygiene Month. TCRC is committed to improving smiles with the help of Dental Coordinator Kayla Sejera.

Kayla has been doing a tremendous amount of outreach within the TCRC community to find people who need greater access to dental care. “People with developmental disabilities are at a much higher risk for decay and gum disease than the general population, so prevention for our community is vitally important. Prevention is so much easier than trying to repair teeth, that’s why the clinics are so needed and well received.”

One person who has participated in a TCRC dental clinic is Jesse Nave. Jesse first heard about the clinic through a program at United Cerebral Palsy. He was very concerned about his dental health and losing his teeth. According to Kayla, Jesse was on the brink of losing all of his teeth if he didn’t get help. Visits to the dentist can rattle the nerves of even the most courageous, but Jesse wants to assure everyone that there is nothing to fear. “The quality of the care is great, said Jesse. They are all great people and fun to be around. Everyone is terrific, the hygienists, the receptionists, everyone is so nice.”

The dental clinics take place every four months with a focus on prevention. They have considerable experience working with people who have varied needs and a 95% success rate in treating people with no sedation. TCRC can fund up to three dental cleanings and fluoride treatments per year for those who need this service. Individuals also need to be seen yearly by a dentist in addition to these preventive clinics. It’s important to note that TCRC services do not impact Medi-Cal dental benefits.

If you or someone you know could benefit from the TCRC dental clinics, please contact your service coordinator for more information.

Good dental hygiene is important for general health. It is also important for emotional health. Smiling with confidence can boost self esteem. Many people, including Jesse, have already taken advantage of this program. Jesse offers advice for people who may be procrastinating, “Just do it, get it done so you can keep your teeth for life. I have my smile back and I couldn’t be happier.”