Kids Against Cavities

Page heading background of people in crop field

Contact Information

Organization Information

Project Summary

The expansion of dental services at Family First Health over the past seven years has dramatically increased the number of low-income families and children that are receiving oral healthcare, whether on-site at one of our dental centers or through our existing school-based screenings, yet the current climate of oral healthcare access in York & Adams counties, in south central Pennsylvania, leaves our youngest residents at serious risk for dental issues and in turn, is laying the foundation for a lifetime of health problems. Kids Against Cavities is a comprehensive, mobile outreach program that allows Family First Health to "pop-up" in local school, Head Start centers, and other community sites to provide on-site dental screenings, x-rays, and oral health education to children, parents and educators in an environment where they already feel comfortable.

Project Goal

In addition to the geographic and economic barriers to care many of our families face when seeking dental care for their children, a non-fluoridated water supply leaves children without a resource known to be highly effective in preventing tooth decay in children from low socioeconomic groups - expanding a generational cycle of poor oral health. The goals of Kids Against Cavities are to deliver services directly to children by increasing the number of access points and streamlining the care process; educating young patients and their caregivers on the importance of good oral hygiene habits and the connection to optimal physical health; and creating additional revenue for Family First Health by providing reimbursable services off-site.

Promotional Methods

Our dental department utilized the dental directors and an outreach staff person to connect with individuals within the school district and Head Start centers to begin the conversation around providing dental care on-site for children. Those conversations led to a yearly calendar being created that outlines when and where the team will be for Kids Against Cavities. We had a logo created specifically for the program that we use in all relevant advertising. Word of mouth among social service agencies who have had experience with our program has been instrumental in its growth. We attempt to make sure that a member of the marketing team can be on hand to take photos of the event to share on social media. We ask the teachers to have parents sign the media release form ahead of time.

Project Challenges

Scheduling across multiple agencies is the most challenging aspect of the program and is why we attempt to create a yearly calendar in advance so that each organization has time to plan accordingly. Due to the need to transport our equipment, we also have to coordinate the rental of a U-Haul and rely on our facilities team to assist with picking that up and loading our equipment so that we can leave promptly on the day of the event.

Project Results

In 2016, we had over 15 Kids Against Cavities sites in York and Adams counties. We treated 2, 113 kids, identified 2,482 cavities and noted 34 teeth that needed immediate extraction.

Organization Type

Health Facility (like Health system, FQHC, hospice)

Types of Practices

  • Community
  • Early Education
  • Health Systems
  • K-12 Schools

Target Age Ranges

  • Children
  • 0-2
  • 2-6
  • 6-10
  • 10-14
  • 14-18

Gender(s)

  • All

Race/Ethnicity

  • All

Project Service Type

  • Community Outreach / Community Engagement
  • Education / Training / Resource Development
  • Screening / Early Detection

Project Content Area

  • Oral Health

Project/Program Care Team Target Population

  • Dentists / Hygienists

Counties Served

  • Adams
  • York

Uploaded Documents/Images