Prevention Program Manager Wendy Lopez and Promotora Meesha Heydon
Education and Treatment Go Hand in Hand
As part of its long-term strategy to reduce the need for interventive surgery services, PDI case managers, dentists, nurses, and volunteers work with prevention education and outreach efforts to reach and educate families and the community as a whole.
At the Surgery Center:
- PDI has a dedicated Oral Health Educator on staff.
- The Health Educator, assisted by the rest of the clinical staff, uses the time during surgery as a "teachable moment" to reinforce the importance of brushing, flossing, and eating healthfully.
- We provide information about local dental resources so that parents can access a dental home for regular checkups.
- After surgery, each child takes home a Healthy Teeth Kit to reinforce the importance of good oral health.
In the Community:
- PDI's Promotores Dentales program, under the direction of Wendy Lopez, has a constant presence in the community, arranging visits with families, groups, schools and shelters to perform screenings, educate about the importance of good dental hygiene practices, and ultimately working to prevent tooth decay from occurring.
- Staff works with other local service providers so that they are aware of PDI's services, thereby increasing access to care community-wide
- Outreach efforts focus on informing families about good oral health practices, and reaching parents and children alike with the message that we can have healthier, happier lives by brushing with our children, eating healthy foods, and drinking water not soda.