Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Celebrates Children’s Dental Health Month
Local organization provides children’s dental care for nearly 40 years
After a traumatic incident to one of his front teeth, Joe Wilson became anxious, and less social.
“I didn’t want to go to school, I didn’t want to be with my friends,” he said.
As a patient with Medicaid insurance, it was difficult finding dental care in the area 30 years ago.
“My mom called Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic and was able to get an appointment at the Yakima Dental Clinic where Dr. Mark Koday fixed my tooth.”
From then on, Joe’s future was forever changed.
“That experience made me want to become a dentist for multiple reasons,” he said.
Now, Dr. Wilson, a native of Yakima, is a board certified pediatric dentist at Lincoln Avenue Medical-Dental Center in Yakima, Washington. Dr. Wilson says he’s most passionate about increasing dental access and awareness on the importance of oral health.
“Oral health is widely related to a person’s overall health, and in my case, can be related to one’s self-image and even their mental health,” he said.
Because of Dr. Wilson’s commitment to advocating for children, he serves as the regional representative on the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s committee on Medicaid and CHIP, where he works to improve access to dental care for children. Dr. Wilson says it’s important for parents to bring their children in for their first dental appointment by age 1 and regular checkups every six months.
Dr. Wilson also encourages parents to ensure their children are brushing twice a day for two minutes, with fluoride tooth paste and flossing at least once a day.
If you want to learn more about dental health, schedule an appointment at your local dentist, or visit Dr. Wilson at Lincoln Avenue Medical-Dental Center in Yakima by calling 509-575-3399.
About Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic: The Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides comprehensive medical, dental, and social services for more than 131,000 people throughout the Pacific Northwest. Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic employs 1,390 full-time staff and more than 600 part-time staff, medical residents, dental residents, students and volunteers. Facilities: 18 medical clinics, 10 dental clinics, 49 programs. Locations: Washington State clinics are located in Grandview, Prosser, Pasco, Spokane, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Yakima, Walla Walla and Wapato. In Oregon, clinics are located in Hermiston, Portland, Salem and Woodburn. Visit: www.yvfwc.org