Good oral health is crucial to overall health. Research has shown that poor oral health is a risk factor for;
- Heart and lung disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- Premature-low Birth weight babies
- Reduced ability for children to thrive
- Complications with children’s education experience
The signs and symptoms of many potentially life-threatening diseases may appear in the mouth first.
The Lifesmiles Dental Health Program’s objective is to collaborate with community based groups, healthcare providers, and organizations to provide preventive dental services with goals of improving access to dental care. Lifesmiles provides services in preschools, Head Starts, schools, WIC clinics, and long-term care facilities in the Two Rivers Public Health Service area. Dental/ Oral Health education presentations are available for community events or business assemblies per request. To learn more about Lifesmiles, please call TRPHD’s Dental Health Coordinator, Roxanne Denny-Mickey, at 308-999-9065 or 888-669-7154.
Where we are:
Woman, Infanct, and Children ClinicsLifesmiles has provided services at the Woman, Infant, and Children (WIC) clinics in Gibbon, Holdrege, and Lexington. Our Public Health Registered Dental Health and Community Health Worker has provided education services, and also connected with those that are non-English speaking to provide interpreting services. Many of those participating in WIC are of low socioeconomic status so, for many, there are limited resources for pursuance of dental care. Time spent with those at WIC is focused on family health education and connection with a dental home. Other services provided are oral and dental screenings, oral cancer screenings, fluoride treatments, and providing homecare supplies. We will provide sealants with future site visits as well.
Preschools and SchoolsLifesmiles also provides services to preschools and schools, and headstarts with expansion this year. The services provided include screenings, sealants, fluoride treatments, education, providing homecare supplies, and referral assistance.
Long-term Care FacilitiesLifesmiles has expanded services to long-term care facilities at Elwood Care Center in Elwood, Brookdale Seniore Living in Lexington, Cozad Care and Rehabilitation Center in Cozad, Holdrege Memorial Homes, and Mount Carmel Home. Services include prophies, denture/partial inspection and cleanings, oral cancer screenings, general dental and periodontal screenings, oral health education, fluoride treatments, providing homecare supplies, antimicrobial applications, and referral assistance. All sites have both Assisted and Nursing care residents.
Community and Peer Education and other ServicesThe Lifesmiles team has provided education in many venues such as health fairs, agency and organizational meetings, and professional in-services. Some venues have also offered us the opportunity to provide general oral screenings to enhance this outreach. Lifesmiles also provides education via media such as TV or radio.