Sonrisitas: A community and school based outreach dental health program for parents Sonrisitas, a heritage promotora project, is a culturally appropriate educational and outreach program designed by and targeted to the Latino parents of students attending Sherman Preparatory School in San Diego, CA. Latino children and their families are at high risk for baby bottle tooth decay, dental caries, periodontal disease, and lack of access to prevention services and dental treatment. The Sonrisitas model is based on the heritage promotora model of naturally occurring networks and linkages that exist within the Latino community. As members of the target community and its social network, the promotoras are the best placed individuals to reach their community with prevention and health promotion messages. Promotoras act as excellent role models and as early adopters of behavior change. Familiarity with the cultural environment gives the promotoras and project staff access to feedback and information regarding factors in the community that influence health behavior outcomes. A fully scripted eight-week Spanish language curriculum was developed with coalition input from dental professionals and the Sonrisitas promotoras. Topics covered include baby bottle tooth decay, sealants and fluoride, a visit to the dentistís office, mouth physiology, and brushing and flossing techniques. Evaluation included pre and post testing, three-month follow up, and participant evaluation of the program. Findings include: increased identification of a dental home; increased application of dental sealants; an increase in the frequency of behaviors associated with dental hygiene practices.
Learning Objectives: At the end of this session participants will be able to: identify four basic components of a heritage promotora dental project; recognize four outreach activities utilizing the strengths of the Latino family that can increase the success of a dental program; analyze a team technique that enhances gathering of pre and post test data; recognize eight dental health themes that are relevant to Spanish speaking families
Keywords: , Peer Education
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA