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Focusing on breaking stigmas surrounding pregnancy and dental care in Shafter

Omni Family Health
Posted at 5:19 PM, Feb 28, 2024
  • On Tuesday, Omni Family Health held a mobile dental clinic aimed at lowering the barrier and removing the stigma surrounding pre and postpartum women receiving dental care.
  • According to Jenee Newman, Dental Quality and Outreach Supervisor for the health group, as well as Delta Dental of California, there are many myths surrounding pre and postpartum women receiving dental treatment where it's advised that they avoid dental procedures. Conversely, both sources advise these women to actively seek dental care because of the various oral health risks that can occur while pregnant.
  • While the clinic was open to everyone, Newman said this is their first step in focusing on this group of women and they hope that by going to communities around Kern County, they'll be able to help many avoid costly dental bills and other health risks.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

When was the last time you went to the dentist? Now, I'm not judging, I'm likely due for a checkup myself. But Omni Family Health is keeping people aware of their oral health by rolling out a mobile dental clinic. And while this clinic that you see behind me is open to everyone, its focus is on pregnant and postpartum women.

According to Delta Dental of California, there are plenty of myths pushing pregnant and postpartum women to avoid dental care, but the consensus is to actively pursue treatment because of the risks that poor dental hygiene can cause.

Neighborhood News Reporter Sam Hoyle interviewing Jenee Newman, Dental Quality & Outreach Supervisor for Omni Family Health
Neighborhood News Reporter Sam Hoyle interviewing Jenee Newman, Dental Quality & Outreach Supervisor for Omni Family Health

With this mobile clinic, OMNI Family Health is focused on breaking down those myths and the stigma associated with pregnant women receiving dental treatment.

“This event today really launches our program of increasing oral access to care for the pre and postpartum woman," said Jenee Newman, Dental Quality and Outreach Supervisor for Omni Family Health. "We've always treated pregnant women, but this is really a program where we're trying to really punch down those barriers that — that are surrounding the stigma of getting dental treatment while you're pregnant.”

As for the mobile clinic, there are limitations to what they can provide on the bus, but according to Newman, they’re working to add more services. In the meantime, they’re hoping to be a stepping stone to better oral health across Kern County.

"We're just doing dental assessments. Your personal oral hygiene education, so I can see exactly what you need, I'm going to train you exactly how to take care of your teeth and what your next step should be," said Newman.

Vanessa Alvarado and her son were one of the several people to stop by the clinic while 23ABC was on-site. In her eyes, an event like this is important for people who lack insurance coverage and for children to get more comfortable being in the dentist's chair.

"I think it's important for families, especially people who don't have insurance, and for kids too as they're growing up in dentistry, not to be scared when they go to an actual dentist. I think it's very helpful. It's just like teaching them what's going to happen," said Alvarado.

This is the first of these clinics that Omni Family Health will be holding but they'll be holding them all throughout Kern County throughout the remainder of this year and in the near future. To learn more be sure to check out their website.


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