205 W 5th Ave
Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
Monday - Friday8 AM - 5 PM
Kittitas (pronounced 'kit-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
ABCD focuses on preventative oral health services and oral health education for families. The ABCD program connects children (ages 0 through 5) with Apple Health (Medicaid) to a local dentist who is specially-trained to work with young children. As of 2017, only 47.3% of Medicaid-eligible children received dental care in Kittitas County (Fiscal Year 2017 Arcora Foundation).
For more information about ABCD and Kittitas County providers, please see our brochure:
ABCD Folleto (español)
For help setting up an appointment, call 509-962-7515 and ask for the ABCD Coordinator!
Your child should see a dentist by their first tooth or first birthday. Even if your child doesn’t have any teeth yet, it’s important to visit early. Dentists can still tell a lot by a child’s gums, mouth shape, and those first little eruptions of teeth. It also sets up the practice of visiting the dentist as a regular routine instead of something scary.
Even though you might not be a dentist, you can still spot signs of potential problems. Lift your baby or child’s lips and look at their teeth about once a month. If you see white or brown spots on the teeth, or changes in their gums, call your dentist right away. These are early signs of problems, and catching them early can make a big difference.
We all should be brushing our teeth twice a day – including kids! Aim for two minutes of brushing. That can seem like a lot when you are trying to wrangle a toddler, but use that as your goal and keep trying. Making it fun with songs or games can help – your dentist will have some great ideas. If your baby doesn’t have teeth yet, it’s still important to clean their gums and incoming teeth once a day with a clean, damp washcloth or finger toothbrush. Talk to your dentist about using toothpaste – the general recommendation is a smear of fluoride toothpaste, the size of a grain of rice, for kids ages 0-3, and a pea size dollop for kids ages 3-6.
Eating healthy is one of the best ways to ensure healthy teeth for you and your kids. Sugary foods like sweet drinks (soda, juice), desserts (candy, cookies), and starches (bread, crackers) make our mouths the ideal place for bacteria that cause cavities. Aim for a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein. When your child does have a sweet treat, try to follow that up with a good teeth brushing or a big glass of water. Also, avoid “grazing” – snacking or sipping sweet drinks throughout the day.
Kids learn by watching what their parents do. Make sure they see you practicing good habits at home like brushing twice a day and eating healthy! Try to talk about the dentist and taking care of your teeth in a positive way. Visits to the dentist may not be everyone’s favorite thing, but kids can pick up on negative feelings and that can lead to being anxious or fearful of the dentist.
The Kittitas County Family of Resources Coalition (KittFam) is an action council comprised of community leaders, social service providers and health care professionals. The coalition meets on a monthly basis to share agency updates and services available to Kittitas County residents. The Kittitas County ABCD Coordinator facilitates this meeting, along with partners from HopeSource.
KittFam welcomes new members who provide services to our community. If you are interested in joining or have questions about the services available to you, please email Chelsey Loeffers.
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.