Every Smile Counts!
ESC! Pilot Programs:
Connecting Kids to Dental Care
Sacramento County is one of 15 entities in California to be funded by the California Department of Health Care Services under the Dental Transformation Initiative (DTI) Local Dental Pilot Project to implement innovative strategies to increase access to dental care for Medi-Cal eligible children ages 0 – 20. Every Smile Counts! (ESC!) is a 3 ½ year pilot program focused on prevention strategies to improve the oral health and overall health of residents in Sacramento and Amador Counties. The overarching goal is to increase utilization of dental services by 5% annually.
Did You Know? Cavities are 100% preventable
Tooth decay has academic, physical, socio-emotional, and economic consequences and affects over 50 percent of California’s kindergartners. Dental problems are the reason more than half a million of California’s school-aged children miss at least one school day per year, resulting in a total of 874,000 missed school days and costing districts almost $30 million in lost average daily attendance dollars per year.
In Sacramento County, more than 144,000 children have Medi-Cal as their primary health and dental insurance. It is estimated that 97,000 of those children do not regularly visit the dentist. The effect of low utilization is that approximately one quarter of children up to age 12 in Sacramento have untreated dental disease. Cavities do not heal; it requires intervention by a dentist. Children who don’t see a dentist for treatment live with constant dental pain, have trouble eating, and cannot focus in school.