Early Smiles, funded by First 5 San Bernardino, provides oral health preventative services and resources for pregnant women and children ages 0-5. These services include oral health screenings, oral health education, and navigation assistance to ensure no child is left without a dental home. By offering these essential services to vulnerable families and children, the program aims to prevent early childhood tooth decay and create a lifetime of healthy habits.
During 2016-2017, Early Smiles served families at partner sites across San Bernardino County. Preventive screening services were provided by registered dental hygienists using a caries risk assessment and included oral hygiene instruction and fluoride varnish application. Children received oral health screenings in their classrooms in partnership with San Bernardino County Head Start Program, Fontana Unified School District, Ontario-Montclair School District, San Bernardino County State Preschool Program, Easterseals, and Early Learning Centers.
Early Smiles improved collaboration between medical and dental providers by integrating oral health into primary care settings such as SAC Health System, Unicare Community Health Center, St. Mary’s Community Health Center, Central Neighborhood Health Foundation, Dignity Health, and WIC. Additionally, Early Smiles partnered with family resource centers such as Rancho Cucamonga Family Resource Center, Hearts & Lives, and The Mom & Dad Project to offer education to parents on optimal oral health practices and the importance of a dental home. Upon determination that a child or pregnant woman lacked a dental home, Early Smiles aided parents in identifying a nearby dental provider and accessing dental care for their child.
Program Fact Sheet
Pregnant Women Fact Sheet
Children 0-5 Fact Sheet
"Great experience. This program helped me take my 2 younger kids to the dentist at an earlier age than I took m y first born. I'm glad you guys referred me out to a great dentist in my area. 10/10"
-Parent of Headstart Student
"Our community has limited dental resources and often travel to dentists out of our area. Sometimes transportation is a hardship to our low-income families. We need these preventive dental services to continue in the future."
-Generalist at Needles Headstart
"[The hygienist] comes well prepared and speaks to the students in a way that makes them feel comfortable... We appreciate her gentle spirit and passion that is displayed in her work."
-Teacher at Franklin State Preschool