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Is the "wavy" toothbrush really better?
Should you believe the ads about anti-cavity chewing gum?
Are some sugars "kinder" to teeth?
Do pregnant women have any special problems with tooth decay?
What's the best way to brush, "up-and-down" or "back-and-forth"?

The dental health education team at the Dental Health Initiative/Share the Care (STC) helps care providers and consumers sort out the how's and why's of good oral health. We address dental health issues for children, infants through teens, as well as for expectant mothers, and the family as a whole.

STC focuses on training trainers to model oral health education. We gear our presentations to a wide range of professional audiences in medical, dental, nutrition, childcare and health education fields. In turn, these individuals are better equipped to work with parents, children and other clientele. Through education, everyone learns that no one is in good health without good oral health!

STC's practical tips about dental health care are delivered in a lively manner. Audiences consistently give high ratings to the presentations for their content and style. The Program can also coach professional staff on how to work with clients more effectively.

Topics for discussion include the following:

Keeping Teeth Clean and Strong for All Ages
-Infection control: preventing cavities -Toothbrush and toothpaste: the right stuff
-Expectant mothers: baby and you -Floss: does it make a difference?
-Early care for infants: how do you start? -Brushing and flossing: handy tips
-Toddlers to teens: on the road for a lifetime -Fluoride: why's and how's

Sound Bites: Good Food for Healthy Mouths and Bodies
-It's not just sweets: foods that hurt teeth -Food label reading and other consumer skills
-Not everything causes tooth decay: eating with less risk -Foods for good health vs. good oral health:are they the same?

Dental Safety
-Safety equipment selection and fitting -Making a Dental First-Aid Kit
-Getting children to wear safety gear -Oral piercings and tattoos: worth the risk?
-Dental emergency how-to's  

Coaching Caregivers
-Motivation-enhancing interventions with clients
-Community resources for care and education
-Hands-on client education with an Oral Health Education Kit

The Art of Good Dental Health
-Arts and crafts with an oral health message

Presentations and workshops are customized to address audiences' specific needs; length can vary from 30 minutes to 4 hours. The format is commonly interactive discussion with experiential activities for participants.

For more details, call Peggy Yamagata, RDH, MEd, Program Manager, the Dental Health Initiative/Share the Care, 619/692-8858 or email her via: peggy.yamagata@sdcounty.ca.gov

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