January 31, 2020


OCHD Offering New “Senior Smiles” Program


(Toms River) – National Dental Health Month takes place every February and this year the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) is proudly recognizing the agency’s Dental Health Services Unit for providing, over the last 3 decades, a comprehensive dental program for the residents of Ocean County.


“The Ocean County Health Department Dental Services Program is a service that our community has benefitted from for 30 years. This year we are starting off with a couple of new educational programs for seniors and school-age children that they will really enjoy,” explains Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD).


The OCHD reminds people that it’s never too late to get on top of your dental health. Our educational programs are aimed to prevent dental disease before it starts and reduce the proportion of adults and children with untreated dental disease. As for our programs, nearly 4,000 Ocean County residents participated in one of our free dental health presentations and received a variety of educational information. And everyone always leaves a dental health program with a free toothbrush!


“We’ve unveiled an exciting new presentation specifically for older adults called Senior Smiles,” explains Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator.  “Many people forget that healthy dental care isn’t about just your teeth but it also includes other potential issues that may occur inside your mouth. Issues such as dry mouth, infections, and sores are just some of the problems that can make for an unhealthy mouth.


The earlier we’re taught the lessons of neglecting your dental and mouth care the better. That’s why the OCHD Dental Health Unit is expanding its education programs to cover topics such as keeping your babies’ mouth healthy and tips for parents to make sure their school-age children keep a healthy mouth.

“The students really get a kick out of the fun and engaging programs we bring to the classroom. The little ones love the coloring books, stickers and fun educational goodies we provide them. Interacting with the teachers and children is so rewarding for me,” says Joyce Jackson, OCHD Dental Health Services Coordinator. Planting the seeds of good dental health is key. We find that the earlier you form good dental health habits, individuals tend to follow that trend throughout their lives.”


When it comes to dental procedures, the OCHD provides for 113 different dental services to be covered for eligible residents at our Federally Qualified Health Center partners located throughout Ocean County.


“Since the inception of our dental program tens of thousands of Ocean County residents have received professional procedures through this comprehensive program,” adds Peter Curatolo, OCHD Chief of Administrative Services. “It’s very special indeed to have provided these services for as long as we have, and now we look forward to doing the same as we move forward into the new decade.”


To reserve a free dental education program for your school, senior community, religious group, summer camp or other venues, please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like us on Facebook. Also, please check out our new website at, to access and learn more about our Public Health is You Too! campaign to help equip you to take simple steps to improve your health.