Have a Heart for Kids Day 2020

Washington Dental Service Foundation

Information about HCCY member organization Washington Dental Service Foundation.

Participating staff: Tara Lee, Sean Pickard, Laura Smith, Nancy Hammond

Description: Washington Dental Service Foundation is a state-wide non-profit organization, dedicated to improving oral health in the state of Washington. WDS Foundation’s mission is to eliminate oral disease to improve overall health for everyone. The Foundation is recognized as leader both locally and nationally in identifying and executing long-term, lasting approaches to improving oral health. Washington Dental Service Foundation focuses on improving the oral health of young children (birth to six), and older adults throughout the state of Washington.

Work in child/youth health: To make significant, lasting improvements in oral health in Washington, the WDS Foundation advocates for oral health public policy; supports practices in health services that emphasize early intervention and the prevention of oral disease; increases dental coverage and improves access to dental services; and assists communities in water fluoridation.  

WDS Foundation recognizes that dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Children in low-income families suffer twice as much dental disease as other children and their cavities are more likely to go untreated. Poor oral health is directly related to poor performance in school, poor social relationships and less success in later life. Keeping kids cavity-free helps them learn, develop and thrive, and improves their oral health for a lifetime.

WDS Foundation focuses on getting children into preventative care early. Children who have their first preventive dental visit by age one have lower dental-related costs later in life. Most dental decay can be prevented through a combination of simple measures including early screenings, risk assessment, fluoride varnish, and health education targeted at effective personal care and nutrition.

We believe that protecting young children’s oral health involves parents, early learning providers, dental providers, physicians and nurses, and most of all a community commitment to ensuring access to services that prevent and treat dental disease for all young children.

For more information: visit the Washington Dental Service Foundation web page.