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COVID-19 Updates: Get the latest public information related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at ReadySLO.org.

The Public Health Department is actively responding to COVID-19. At the same time, the department continues to provide essential services in the safest way possible, including telephone or remote appointments (through your mobile phone or computer) and in-person visits when needed. For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org. For updates on other Public Health services, visit slopublichealth.org or call 805-781-5500.

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Oral Health

Who can use this service?

Any school, organization, or community group can request an educational presentation.

Preventive services are currently focused on children (0-5 years) who are enrolled in applicable programs, though whenever possible, the team will provide information on resources and services for older children, adults, and the elderly.

Is there a charge for this service?

This service is provided free of charge, although insurance providers may be billed for preventive services, if applicable. No one is turned away due to lack of insurance.

When and where is this service offered?

For more information, please call the Health Promotion office at (805) 781-5564.

Denti-cal Providers

The locations listed below offer services through Denti-cal

CHC Templeton Dental

Ages 0+/Edades 0+ Sliding fee/Tarifa variable Languages: English, Spanish

325 Posada Ln. Suite C Templeton, CA 93465

Tel: (805) 542-6702

Tolosa Children's Dental Center - Paso

Ages 0-12/Edades 0-12 Sliding fee/Tarifa variable Languages: English, Spanish

717 Walnut St Paso Robles, CA 93446

Tel: (805) 238 5334

Tolosa Children's Dental Center - SLO

Ages 0-12/Edades 0-12 Sliding fee/Tarifa variable Open Thursdays only/ Abierto sólo los jueves Languages: English, Spanish

4251 S. Higuera St., Suite 401 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Tel: (805) 592-2445

Doan D.D.S. Family Dentistry

Ages 1+/Edades 1+ Languages: English, Spanish

4251 S. Higuera St., Suite 101 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Tel: (805) 538-1888

Friendly Smiles

Ages 5+/Edades 5+ Languages: English, Spanish

1338 Santa Rosa St San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Tel: (805) 544-3221

Cali Dental

Ages 1+/Edades 1+ Languages: English, Spanish

3870 Broad St., Suite 1 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Tel: (805) 202-4988

Central Coast Dental

Ages 1-25/Edades 1-25 Languages: English, Spanish

871 Oak Park Blvd Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Tel: (805) 481-3433

CHC Nipomo Dental

Ages 0+/Edades 0+ Sliding fee/Tarifa variable Languages: English, Spanish

150 Tejas Place Nipomo, CA 93444

Tel: (805) 929-3254

CHC Oceano Dental

Ages 18+/ Edades 18+ Sliding fee/Tarifa variable Languages: English, Spanish

2120 Cienaga St. Oceano, CA 93445

Tel: (805) 994-2103

Frequently Asked Questions

What is fluoride and how does it affect my teeth?

Tooth decay is caused by certain bacteria in the mouth. When a person eats sugar and other refined carbohydrates, these bacteria produce acid that removes minerals from the surface of the tooth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to put minerals back into the tooth and prevents cavities from continuing to form. Topical fluoride reaches the teeth directly to stop the decay-producing bacteria in plaque, and to stabilize minerals in the teeth. This treatment is most effective when delivered at low doses throughout the day, such as in food, water, or fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash, though it can also be applied at higher doses by a qualified dental professional.
 
Fluoride’s action in preventing tooth decay benefits both children and adults throughout their lives. The health benefits of fluoride are:

  •  Fewer cavities and less severe cavities.
  •  Less need for fillings and tooth extractions.
  •  Less pain and suffering associated with tooth decay.

Learn more:

Why Do Children Need Fluoride? / ¿Por qué los niños necesitan fluoruro? (American Academy of Pediatrics)

How Fluoride Works (CDC) 

How do sugary drinks like soda and juice affect my teeth?

Everyone has harmful bacteria in their mouths, but drinking sugary drinks like juice or soda allows the bacteria to thrive, producing harmful acid in the process.  This acid wears away the enamel on your teeth, causing cavities to form or erosion to occur.  Reducing your consumption of sugary beverages (and replacing them with better choices like water, unsweetened tea, milk or diluted juice) helps protect your teeth.
 
Note: If you are going to consume sugary beverages, try to drink (not sip) them.  Each sip of a sugary beverage causes your mouth’s acid to spike – an increase which can last up to an hour. If you sip on a soda or juice throughout the day, this can lead to much more damage than if you were to drink the beverage quickly (and allow your body time to wash away the sugar and acid).
 
For more information on the effect of sugary beverages on your oral health, click here.

What local dentists take Denti-Cal?

We know it can often be difficult to find a dentist that takes Denti-Cal. 

To find a local provider for you or your child, see this list of San Luis Obispo County dentists who take Denti-Cal

You can also call the Health Promotion office at (805) 781-5564 and we can help refer you to one in your area.

What other resources are available for maintaining good oral health?
What should I do If I have tooth or mouth pain during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The most important thing you can do right now to stay healthy and make sure others are healthy is to stay home. In San Luis Obispo County, most dentist offices are providing some dental services. Please contact your dental office for assistance and hours of operation. If your mouth or teeth hurt, or you think you have a dental emergency, CALL your dental provider or your local oral health program. Most offices have staff answering phones and may be able to set up a virtual appointment. Tell your provider how you feel, including if you have a fever, a cough or chest pain. Your dental team will tell you what to do next. Your dentist may talk with you about your symptoms on the phone or over video chat. Try to avoid going to the emergency room unless it is truly an emergency.

Some examples of dental emergencies are:

  • Very bad toothache pain (not just a twinge)
  • Swollen gums, face, or neck
  • Bleeding in your mouth that does not stop
  • Infection or a substantial risk of it
  • Recent trauma to the mouth

Hygiene:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Scrub for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is not available.
  • Do not touch your face. This is a lot harder than it sounds and requires effort.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or upper arm.
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick and seek appropriate medical guidance.
  • Take care of your teeth and mouth by brushing and flossing twice a day.

Find a Dental Provider:

  • To find a dental provider that accepts MediCal Dental go to https://smilecalifornia.org
  • California Dental Network: 877-433-6825 [email protected]
  • California Health and Wellness: cahealthwellness.com 1-877-658-0305
  • California Department of Health: CDPH.ca.gov
  • County of San Luis Obispo Oral Health Program: 805-781-5503

For more information on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org.

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