Healthy Smiles Wellness Event focuses on dental health


By Sue Cody

By age 9, half of Oregon kids have tooth decay. Providence Healthy Smiles hopes to change that by connecting children to a dentist.

Kids have a chance to win an 18-inch bicycle, suitable for a 6 to 9-year-old, and other prizes at the Providence Healthy Smiles Wellness Event, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Lum’s Auto Center, 1605 Ensign Lane in Warrenton.

The event offers free food, a bike rodeo, giveaways, a car seat safety check and a variety of dental services for children, including screening, sealants and fluoride treatment. “The whole point is to connect children with a dental home,” says Justin Abbott, Providence Healthy Smiles program coordinator.


For those without insurance, an Oregon Health Plan (OHP) assister will be onsite to register those who qualify. Many people have OHP, but are unaware of how to access the dental portion of the plan, says Abbott. He will show them how to connect with a dentist.

A nutritionist and nurse will explain how nutrition affects dental health and Clatsop Community Action (CCA) will offer access to other services, such as housing, food, shelter, etc.

The Providence Dental Van will be on hand to treat adults who do not have insurance.

The need

Most kids in Clatsop County are eligible for dental insurance, but few were using it when Healthy Smiles began in 2016. A grant from the Oregon Community Foundation and Providence Seaside Hospital created the Healthy Smiles program to address that need through education, outreach and coordinating Oregon Health Authority’s free sealant program in the schools.

“Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing and learning,” the Centers for Disease Control reports. Cavities are preventable. Tooth decay diminishes with fluoride treatment and sealants.


Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) and The Way to Wellville support Healthy Smiles Wellness Event and will have a table at Lum’s. Other partners include the Warrenton Police Department, Alexandroff Dental, Tyack Dental Group, Oregon Dental Service (ODS), Capitol Dental, Advantage Dental, Willamette Dental and CCA.


The CCO coverage includes yearly dental checkups, cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings, extractions, X-rays, emergency care and other services with limitations.


For information on sealants, see:

Oral health:

Columbia Pacific CCO coverage:,