February 13, 2019

Adrian visits the Kids' Community Dental Clinic, a nonprofit in Burbank, California and talks with Executive Director Dale Gorman and Registered Dental Assistant Ana Gomez.  Later in the show, Bruce Gale brings us an interview with this week's Kid Hero, Joey Gouthiere.

Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. NCDHM messages and materials have reached millions of people in communities across the country.

While it's nearly preventable, in a special report on the state of oral health in America, the U.S. Surgeon General identified tooth decay as the most common chronic childhood disease and called it "America's silent epidemic."  Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.

According to the CDC, the percentage of children and adolescents aged 5 to 19 years with untreated tooth decay is twice as high for those from low-income families (25%) compared with children from higher-income households (11%).  Children miss 51 million school hours every year due to dental problems, but children living in poverty miss almost 12 times more than their peers. 

Families living in poverty don’t have the financial resources to schedule regular dental appointments...this is seen as an optional expense compared to car payments and other bills.  Some parents even struggle to buy the essentials for oral hygiene: toothpaste, toothbrush or dental floss.

Even for those families with Medicaid coverage, it can still be hard to find a dentist. Many pediatric dentists don’t take Medicaid patients simply because they can’t afford it.

This brings us to today's charity, Kids' Community Dental Clinic...

Kids' Community Dental Clinic, located in Burbank, California, is dedicated to improving children's oral health through quality dental care and preventive education for low-income families in Southern California.  @KidsCommunityDentalClinic

Dental disease among children is preventable, yet it persists throughout the country in epidemic proportions.  We visit many schools in Southern California to offer a variety of free services to help children have healthy teeth.  Limited visual examinations, fluoride treatments, toothbrushes, brushing and flossing instruction and demonstrations are given at participating schools.

Adrian visited the clinic and sat down with Dale Gorman, Executive Director, and Ana Gomez, Registered Dental Assistant.

Last week Bruce brought us our Kid Hero, Julianna Gouthiere.  This week we highlight her brother, Joey Gouthiere.  Altruism runs in this family.

Joey Gouthiere, 12, of Shreveport, Louisiana, a seventh-grader at Youree Drive Middle School, is on a mission to take care of the planet through “Geaux Green,” an environmental campaign that encompasses gardening, recycling, conservation and community beautification.

After Joey settled on Geaux Green for the name, he designed a logo and began telling people about his mission through fliers, social media and word of mouth.

Joey and his sister launched GeauxShowLove, nonprofit organization of Bear Share and Geaux Green.  @geauxshowlove

Today, Bruce Gale brings us an interview with Joey.