A semi-trailer housing a free dental clinic for kids arrived in Sonoma Valley last month for a much-anticipated visit.


Some 120 students ages 6 to 15 received dental treatments their families otherwise could not afford, from cleanings and cavity-fighting sealants to root canals and extractions.


While the annual three-day Christina’s Smile mobile dental clinic celebrated its 25th year providing services to low-income families, the occasion was bittersweet 

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In the News

and dogs as it is in people. The disease shows its first signs when bacteria from food accumulate in the mouth. Left untreated, bacteria cause plaque formations on teeth and around the gums. Mixing with saliva, these plaque formations harden and become tartar.

Neglecting plaque and tartar buildup can lead to periodonditis, an irreversible condition involving the inflammation and infection of the gums. Inflamed gums separate from the teeth, allowing bacteria to enter and attack the tooth at the root. At this point, bacteria also can enter the bloodstream and travel to major organs like the heart, liver and 


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The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent cats show signs of dental disease by the age of 3. In fact, oral disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for pets.




The origin of dental disease is actually the same in cats 

because its founder died before the clinic’s milestone anniversary. 


Dr. Richard Garza, the dentist from Austin, Tex., who wanted to make a difference for the working poor, died last November at 66. The nonprofit clinic he established continues his mission, but Garza’s death was observed by the many volunteers who make it possible.

At Altimira Middle School, where the dental clinic operates in the staff parking lot. Principal Will Deeths was among those honoring the late dentist. Students, including former patients, planted a Gravenstein apple tree in Garza’s memory, a sapling grafted in the campus horticulture class.

“It was just to say thank you to Dr. Garza for the meaningful work he’s done in our valley,” Deeths said. “He was such a soft-spoken


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Tails of Marin: Protect your pet's pearly whites

September 29, Marin Indepenent Journal

by Carrie Harrington, Marin Humane Society

U.S. EPA proposes to eliminate mercury pollution from dental offices nation wide

September 26, 2014, Lake County News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a

proposal to eliminate mercury pollution from dental offices


These new Clean Water Act standards would cut discharges

of dental amalgam – a mixture of mercury and other metals

that dentists use to fill cavities. 

Under this proposal, dentists must use devices to remove

mercury and other toxic metals before they go down the drain.

“This proposed rule would cut mercury and toxic metal

discharges to public wastewater systems by at least 8.8 tons a year nationwide,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Bay Area communities already require dentists to use amalgam capture devices and have seen their mercury pollution levels drop nearly 75 percent. Now the rest of California and the nation will see these same benefits.”

About half the mercury that enters public water treatment systems comes from dental offices that do not use 


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Smiles and sadness at free Sonoma Dental Clinic

November 2, 2014, The Press Democrat

by Dianne Reber Hart, Sonoma Correspondant


Dental problems in children linked to bullying

The Redwood Stand

(RDHS Newsletter )

Leslie Jackson, and her unstopable drive to become a dental hygienist

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