The ABCD Tiny Bites Newsletter

Winter 2019

Your quarterly children’s oral health newsletter for Snohomish County, provided by the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) Program. Stay informed of program updates and learn about promoting children’s oral health with patients, clients, and families.

Dental volunteers

News Bite

Dental access for Marshallese, Micronesians, and Palauans

The dental clinic at the COFA Islander Health Fair was a success thanks to our many volunteers. COFA stands for Compact of Free Association, which is an agreement between the U.S. and the three Pacific Island nations – the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. The COFA agreement exists due to nuclear weapons testing conducted by the U.S. post World War II. Marshallese, in particular, have high rates of cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. The COFA agreement allows Marshallese, Micronesians, and Palauans to live, work, and study in the U.S. permanently. However, COFA Islanders are categorically ineligible for Medicaid. They lost this benefit as a result of the Health Care Reform Act of 1996.

In 2017 the Washington Legislature provided for COFA Islander Health Care, sponsored by the Health Care Authority to cover this gap in health care for the COFA Islanders in Washington. In 2019, the Legislature added dental benefits to COFA Islander Health Care. Dental benefits will kick-in January 2021.

On November 2, 2019 the Snohomish Health District organized the second annual health fair for COFA Islanders. The main event is enrollment for the COFA Islander Health Care. However, the dental clinic was a close second. Overall, the event saw more than 200 attendees. Key to the event's success were the Marshallese, Yapese, and Chuukese volunteers who served as interpreters. 

Estimate of people served at the dental clinic:

  • 12 -16 were seen in the Healthy Smiles NW van (hygiene)
  • 18 patients were seen in the Smile Mobile (fillings/extractions)
  • 37 people received oral screening
  • 71 people were given the dental patient intake form

A special thanks to the Arcora Foundation Smile Mobile, Healthy Smiles Northwest, and our dental volunteers!

Family dentist

Health Message Bite

Will your baby have your eyes? Your nose? Your cavities?

You’ll pass lots of things to your little one — including your oral health. That’s why dental visits during pregnancy are so important. Not only will a visit to your dentist give you peace of mind, they can also check your mouth to make sure you’re free from infections that can lead to pregnancy complications, or cavities that can spread to your baby after they’re born. Find out more at

Need help finding a dentist? You can connect with a referral specialist at Dentist Link. Or you can refer to our Low-Cost Dental Resource List.
(Source: Mighty Mouth Outreach Toolkit)

Dentists at work

Resource Bite

For dental and health professionals

Child dental exam

Training Bite

Interim Therapeutic Restorations

The Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) Program offers two trainings for dentists – Phase 1 and phase 2. Often these trainings are combined. However, if it’s been a while since you were trained and certified, you may be missing out on phase 2, which is a training on interim therapeutic restorations (ITR). If you are a pediatric dentist, you may wonder why you would need this training since you regularly use ITR in your practice. The short answer is that once you complete the ABCD phase 2 (ITR) training you would receive enhanced Medicaid reimbursement and earn continuing education credit through the UW School of Dentistry. However, qualifying for enhanced Medicaid reimbursements for ITR is contingent on completing the ABCD phase 1 training. This training is available in expedited format for pediatric dentists. In addition, the training allows you to connect with local ABCD Champions who are pediatric dentists, whom you can engage with for case consultations. In essence, the ABCD Program promote a philosophy of care that believes every child deserves healthy teeth.

The ABCD Program connects children under 6 years of age on Medicaid/Apple Health to a participating dentist. Now is a better time than ever to be an ABCD Certified dentist. In 2018, there were 32,516 children in Snohomish County on Apple Health and approximately 49.2 % utilized this benefit. The number and proportion of people on Medicaid are steadily increasing in Snohomish County and across the State. You can make a difference in curbing dental decay in young children

General dentists can be ABCD certified! Contact your ABCD Coordinator to arrange a training. Since each county in WA has an ABCD Program you can connect to any coordinator and champion.

Water drop

Dental Access Coalition (DAC) Bite

Our Mission

Improve access to comprehensive, coordinated dental care. Mobilize community resources, agencies and institutions to action.  Advocate for prevention and early intervention.

Want to suggest the next training topic for the DAC? Would you like to be added to the email distribution list? Send an email to Sarah de Jong at

The ABCD Program participates in the DAC. Meetings are held quarterly on the fourth Friday from 9 to 10:30 am at the Snohomish Health District in conference room 309 AB.

Access to Baby & Child Dentistry

Program Bite

ABCD trainings

Do you see children under 6 on Apple Health/Medicaid in your practice? Would you like to become ABCD certified to earn enhanced Medicaid rates? Would you like to earn free UW CE credits? Are you an ABCD trained dental practice who needs to train new providers or staff? Do you still need the Interim Therapeutic Restorations (ITR) training? If you received phase 1 ABCD training, you can get the phase 2 ITR training. 

If this sounds like you, please contact the ABCD Coordinator to request a training: Felicia Cain,, 425.339.8697


Low-Cost dental resource list

The ABCD Program updates this list quarterly. You can find the latest version here.
To be added or removed from the list, or to make edits to your listing, please complete this online form

Need help finding a dentist for your clients?

Adult clients in Washington, whether on Medicaid, private insurance or no insurance, can contact Dentist Link. A referral specialist can find a dentist in the client’s area. A Spanish-speaking referral specialist is available. Clients or providers can call, text, or complete the online form at

Need help finding a dentist for young children on Medicaid/Apple Health?

There’s extra help available through the ABCD program for children under 6 on Medicaid/Apple Health. Contact the ABCD Coordinator directly, Felicia Cain, or 425.339.8697, or complete this online form:

Case management services available for your ABCD clients

Are you a private practice dental office who sees patients under 6 years old on Medicaid/Apple Health? Do they need extra help with transportation, language access, or other basic needs? If you answered yes to these questions, the ABCD Coordinator may be able to help. Contact her with your questions. Felicia Cain: 425.339.8697 or

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