Building Healthy Smiles

United Way of Ventura County is focused on increasing access to health care in the following ways:

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease and unmet need of children in California. More than 50 percent of California’s kindergartners have a history of dental decay. Nearly 25 percent of California’s children, ages 0-11, have never been to a dentist. When children don’t get the care they need, there are costs to taxpayers and families – costs of emergency room visits for preventable dental problems and missed school days resulting in a loss of attendance-based school district funding.

Through the Building Healthy Smiles Initiative, UWVC  and its partners work to eliminate dental disease in Ventura County through education, care coordination, and advocacy.   Our goal is to eliminate untreated tooth decay for children in Ventura County by involving parents, working together, raising awareness, facilitating communication, serving as a clearinghouse, encouraging best and promising practices, developing resources, sharing data and advocating for policy changes.  




The Building Healthy Smiles curriculum is designed to encourage good oral health habits from the start. The curriculum focuses on “Brush Well, Eat Well, Drink Well and Stay Well”. Trained oral health educators in various community based organizations and public agencies conduct presentations at locations throughout Ventura County. To learn more about the Building Healthy Smiles curriculum or to schedule a presentation, please contact Aissa Fernandez, Program Officer at (805) 485-6288 x270.




The Building Healthy Smiles Initiative is working to bring oral health assessment events to schools throughout Ventura County. With our oral health partners, we hope to provide oral health assessments, oral health education and fluoride varnish treatments to children. In addition, we hope to connect children to further care, if needed, and eventually to a dental home for regular, on-going care and treatment.




Advocating for improved access to dental care for our County’s most vulnerable children is a key strategy for the Building Healthy Smiles Initiative. Working with local legislators, The Building Healthy Smiles partners work to inform and raise awareness of the need to improve children’s oral health. To find out more information about becoming an advocate, contact Jennifer Herrera at (805) 479-9873 or jherrera@unitedwaysca.org.

Join Building Healthy Smiles:


Volunteer to provide dental services at an event or school

Help us spread the word about our efforts to improve oral health outcomes for children in Ventura County






For more information about the Building Healthy Smiles Initiative and to get involved in the effort to eliminate dental disease  in children in Ventura County, please contact Susan Englund, Vice President, Community Impact at (805) 485-6288 x226.

Children Now: Denti-Cal Infographic 

Mouth Monster infographics

Dental Decay infographic

VC Oral Health 

Our Partners