Hundreds of children will receive free dental care in Taft, Kern County, as a result of a three-year collaboration of CTA, the California Resources Corporation, USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, and the Taft City School District.
The first dental clinic, in a specially equipped mobile van, was held in September and serviced between 120 and 150 low-income students from six elementary schools in the district.
According to a survey by the Center for Health Policy Research at UCLA, dental problems keep California students out of class an estimated 874,000 days a year, costing schools nearly $30 million in lost ADA funding.
“Since children with tooth decay are 12 times more likely to miss school, and missing school negatively impacts student achievement, we must do what we can to improve the oral health of the students in Kern County,” says CTA President Eric Heins. “This is a partnership we all can smile about.”