Why is the health of your mouth important?


For every person at every age, a healthy mouth is vital. Good oral health is essential for your overall health. If you have ever had a severe cavity, you know how painful it can be. Kids in pain from dental problems have difficulty learning, eating and getting a good night’s sleep. They are absent from school more often. Some children are embarrassed to smile because of dental problems.

For adults, there is a link between dental disease and serious health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and pregnancy complications. Poor oral health can make it difficult to get a job, perform well at work and eat healthy foods.

The good news is that cavities and gum disease are preventable. Prevention and early treatment save money by reducing the likelihood of more serious and expensive oral health issues.

Fortunately, Apple Health (Medicaid) covers many dental services. However, only 56 percent of lower-income children in the state, and 23 percent of lower-income adults, actually saw a dentist in the last year.

There is a free online tool available at TheMightyMouth.org to help you find a dentist who accepts your insurance, including Apple Health.  You can also call or text 844-888-5465.  There are Spanish speakers ready to assist.

All children should have their mouth checked by a dentist or physician by age one. And, every pregnant woman should visit the dentist because cavity-causing germs can be passed from mother to child.

In addition to regular checkups, here are some tips to keep your mouth healthy:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily
  • Drink water (fluoridated tap water is best)
  • Avoid sugary beverages including juice, sports drinks, and soda
  • Choose healthy snacks such as cheese, fruit, and vegetables

Surveys of people in Washington show that oral health problems occur in all communities, but are more common among minorities and people with lower incomes.  For example, Hispanic children have a 50 percent higher rate of cavities than Caucasian children.

Everyone should be concerned about these health disparities.  We can and must do better.  No one should suffer from an easily preventable disease, especially a disease that affects the ability to learn, eat and find a job.

Go to The Mighty Mouth for more tips because ‘You’re healthier with a healthy mouth.’

Note: Thanks to the Arcora Foundation for sharing these tips with us! 

Hate Rhetoric about Migrant Caravan used as Campaign Strategy

The Trump Administration leveraged the migrant caravan as a campaign issue for the midterm elections. In an anti-immigration ad sponsored by the Trump Administration, it attacked those Central American migrants by slandering and labeling them as “invaders and criminals.” Thousands of migrants are traversing across México to reach the United States because they are fleeing from violence, gangs, government corruption, extortion, and unemployment.

The ad goes as far to insinuate that the Central American migrants are responsible for an undocumented immigrant’s actions of killing two law enforcement officials in California. Whether the current administration likes it or not, immigration is an issue self-created by the U.S. government. This country was founded by immigrants and, based on the election results, we are here to stay and affect change. Many generations of immigrants have lived in this country before the government invaded and inherited this land. Immigrants – including their customs, language, tradition, values, culture, food, and communities – are an integral part of this diverse nation, and they help enrich relationships that connect us to one another.

Community Leaders Hold Press Conference about Rejecting Proposed SPOG Contract

The Community Police Commission and community leaders are urging Seattle City Council to reject its proposed contract with the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, the City’s largest police union. We believe that if the City were to approve the proposed agreement, then it will undo the progress of the Accountability Reform Legislation unanimously supported and adopted by City Council in June 2017.

The adoption of that legislation was a sign of improvement; that, police reform and accountability are getting better in Seattle, but the proposed contract is a reminder that we have a long way to go. This juncture means life or death. By passing that legislation a year ago yet scheduling a vote to approve the SPOG contract imminently, the City is sending two conflicting messages to the public. In essence, the proposed contract rolls back on accountability measures that inspired trust between police and community members. We have come too far, worked too hard, and lost too many lives for the accountability measures to be stripped away, resulting in the public’s damaged confidence in the police.

We know we need the police, but we also need accountability measures. We are not against police, we are supportive of the City paying them fair wages. We need to bring people from all walks of life together – including those that are no longer with us – and we can do that by implementing the agreements stated in the Accountability Reform Legislation.

As a community in 2012, we brought the Department of Justice to Seattle, where they ruled that our local police uses excessive force. We as a community can stand together again to urge City Council by Tuesday, November 12, to reject the proposed contract between the City and SPOG. In the meantime, please contact your City Council representative to urge them to reject the City’s proposed contract during Tuesday’s vote. We must reopen the dialogue if we want to move forward and set a national example of quality police accountability.

Click to read the Seattle Community Police Commission’s report: https://www.elcentrodelaraza.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2018-10-30-Final-Short-Chart.pdf

Click to read why we are advocating for the rejection of the SPOG Contract: https://www.elcentrodelaraza.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/24-Community-Leaders-Request-to-Reject-the-Proposed-SPOG-Contract-Final.pdf

Click to read more about today’s Press Release: https://www.elcentrodelaraza.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2018-11-8-police-tentative-contract-letter-press-release-final.pdf 


Oppose Proposed ‘Public Charge’ Rule by December 10

The ‘public charge’ proposed rule applies to people who are seeking to become a lawful permanent resident by applying for a green card through a family-based petition. We, among other nonprofit service providers, see the concern of program participants about accessing our Food Bank or public benefits assistance services. They are afraid that our staff will turn them away or jeopardize their residency status. These are misconceptions, but they are starting to devastate our communities by preventing them from accessing the resources they need. Join us by December 10 in urging the Trump Administration to withdraw its proposal. Otherwise, its adoption will create an adverse ripple effect on health, development, and economic outcomes for generations to come. The Department of Homeland Security must respond to each comment they receive so your opposition will be heard

Honoring the Memories of Those Killed

We send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones, two African American individuals whose lives were taken too soon on Wednesday, October 24, at a Kroger store in Kentucky. The gunman attempted to enter a predominantly black church before arriving at the grocery store where he opened fire. Stallard was in the store with his young grandson when the gunman shot him.

We also want to offer our heartfelt sympathy to the parishioners whose lives were senselessly taken away at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 27. The Jewish community in Pittsburgh continues to mourn. It is deplorable and immoral to target people, much less in a sanctuary and a place of worship, based on faith, religion, and race.

Just last night, 12 people were killed in a bar. Among those people were young patrons, security workers, employees, and Sergeant Ron Helus. Our heavy hearts go out to the young adults with dreams, law enforcement officers that used their body to shield victims, Sgt. Helus who was soon due to retire, and people enjoying a night out in Thousand Oaks, California.

Their families have forever changed because of the horrific hate crimes that the gunmen committed.  I am confident that the outrageous gun shootings will only bring together the people of Jeffersontown, the Jewish community, and those affected in Thousand Oaks. We stand with you all in solidarity.

Reflection on the 2018 Midterm Election

The days, weeks, months, and years leading up to Tuesday’s midterm elections were emotionally and psychologically taxing. After two years of the Trump Administration at work, election results affirm that we helped restore the balance of power. We have brighter days ahead. The last time Democrats flipped the House was in 2006. Many talk about the “blue wave,” but I believe we witnessed a rainbow wave starting with voters who live in the suburbs.

We saw them turn out to vote. With our votes, we made history by electing Native Americans, Muslims, Latinas, and an openly LGBT person to public office. Also, women now hold more than half of the House seats. Women candidates and women voters helped propel the so-called wave. More than half of the House seats are now held by women. Minorities are here to stay. This election does not stop Trump from winning reelection in 2020. This election was not the beginning of the end; rather, the end of the beginning. Let our continued resistance light the way for fairness, justice, and compassion.

Marí Rico Receives 2018 Elevate Opportunity Award

School’s Out Washington recognized our very own, Marí Rico, as one of their 2018 Elevate Opportunity champions. This award recognizes leaders for advancing access to quality expanded learning opportunity for young people across Washington State. Marí coordinates the After-School Program at José Martí Child Development Center, where she lives out her passion for working with kids. One of her biggest joys is to “be with kids in this journey and, hopefully, provide the support they need during these hard times that we live in our society.”

She owes her hard work to her daughter and El Centro de la Raza, both of which have shaped who she is today. Marí draws inspiration from her colleagues, including Hilda Magaña and Estela Ortega, because they have created a place where it helped her recapture her culture, language, and identity. In return, Marí strives to provide her youth program participants the same opportunities for my students that El Centro de la Raza did for her. Felicidades, Marí!