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News // March 27, 2014

Community Partners Bring Oral Health Education to Burmese Refugees

On March 7, 2014, Burmese refugees gathered at the Scripps Wellness Center for an Oral Health Education event hosted by the Karen Organization.  More than 20 adults and children attended a class, taught in their native language, on the importance of oral health, including a demonstration on proper brushing and flossing techniques.

After the class, Public Health Nurses Bonnie Copland and Dianne Bourque, both from Central Region Public Health Center, Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), examined the children’s teeth for cavities.  Lar Ka Paw, Community Program Manager for Karen, helped to provide varnish applications. The parents of children who had immediate needs for dental services for cavities and gum disease were given referrals to local dental clinics. Each child in attendance was also provided with a pediatric oral hygiene kit, compliments of HHSA’s Share the Care Dental Health Initiative of San Diego, to take home with them.

Many refugees have a need for dental care due to lack of proper nutrition, dental hygiene and dental care during their time spent in refugee camps prior to arriving in the United States. 

Scripps City Heights Wellness Center, Anderson Center for Dental Care at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego (RCHSD), Share the Care, and the Karen Organization of San Diego collaborated to put on the Oral Health Education event, demonstrative of the shared commitment of community partners to improve the health and well-being of San Diego County residents.

Pictured above:  Elisa Ayala DDS, RDA, Anderson Center for Dental Care, RCHSD and Nao Kabashima, Executive Director at Karen Organization of San Diego, talk to Burmese refugees about oral health