Often referred to as the silent epidemic, childhood cavities are the number one chronic disease impacting the health and well-being of children throughout the United States. In the Lancaster community, over 19,000 children have not seen a dentist in their lifetime. Many more are not completing dental visits with the frequency at which care is recommended. For some the barriers are financial, for others it’s the limited number of providers accepting their insurance or simply the hours during which care may be provided.
Our goal: To assure every child in the Lancaster Community, regardless of their socio-economic or insurance status, has access to high-quality, compassionate and supportive dental care.
CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health began our journey to improve children’s oral health in 2004 with the creation of our mobile dental program – Brush.Brush.Smile!®. The program served children and families at schools throughout Lancaster County from 2004 to 2016. Brush.Brush.Smile!® successfully provided thousands of children in the community with dental exams and basic dental restorations. Ultimately, the hope was to transition patients to a permanent dental home within the community.
Despite the efforts of a generous and caring Lancaster dental community, the existing dental practices and programs within the County struggled to accommodate the children identified and served through Brush.Brush.Smile!®. On average, less than 5% of children seen on the mobile clinics could be placed in a dental home that was capable of seeing the child every six months.
Committed to fulfilling our promise to the community, in 2016, CHI St. Joseph Children’s Health shifted dental care strategies. Our dental program transitioned from a mobile dental clinic strategy to creating children’s dental homes throughout the community. Our hope is to connect families with accepting, welcoming and quality dental homes for children within ten miles of most Lancaster County households.