New Children’s Dental Program at Eva’s Village Removes Barriers to Preventive Care

Dr. Ramos turns a first-time dental visit into a positive experience.

“Prevention is the best thing we can give a kid,” Dr. Ramos

The Medical & Dental Clinic at Eva’s Village recently introduced a pediatric dental program to provide regular exams and treatment to over 50 children who reside in Eva’s residential recovery and shelter programs, as well as children referred from Oasis, A Haven for Women and Children, and other organizations in Paterson. Accessing preventive dental care and teaching good oral hygiene habits can be a challenge for parents who are struggling with substance use, the instability of homelessness or the stress of unemployment.

Dr. Mario Ramos, DDM, a pediatric dentist in private practice, volunteered to help set up and run Eva’s pediatric clinic. He noted that kids from low income families (20% of all children) account for 80% of childhood tooth decay in the U.S. Dr. Ramos volunteers at Eva’s Dental Clinic once a week to examine and treat children. He believes that teaching parents about dental care and hygiene is the key to kids’ good oral health; so in addition to treating children in a clinical setting, he is presenting a series of learning sessions for parents and older children at Eva’s Village. “Prevention is the best thing we can give a kid,” Dr. Ramos explained during a recent presentation to a group of 24 mothers who live at Eva’s with their children.

A grant from the Horizon Foundation of New Jersey helped to jump-start Eva’s pediatric dentistry service. The two-year grant is part of Horizon’s Kids’ Oral Health Program, a pilot initiative to make it easier for underprivileged children to access dental care.

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