Who Is OraLine Kids?
When Head Start was created in the 1960s, its primary purpose was to provide affordable day care for those who may not be able to pay for private day care. Since that time, over twenty million children have participated in the program, which continues to expand in the United States. Within the mandate of Head Start there are initiatives designed to address the preventive health care needs for children who may not have access to them otherwise. Preventive oral care is one of those areas- the intent was to introduce the more recent products and procedures to children, and ensure that at least once a day preventive measures would be taken to prevent tooth decay and other avoidable side effects which may occur in neglected children- oral borne diseases may have adverse side effects.
Now that the preventive regime has been universally applied, there are three unique issues which we may conclude occur only in a large classroom setting that is the norm for Head Start, when a preventive oral care program is in effect: 1) toothbrushes, when wetted and used, become incubators of bacteria. If left untreated on a mass scale, they can foster the transmission of infectious bacteria and viruses; 2) There is no labor efficient method of marking or naming individual toothbrushes, thus allowing teachers or parents to separate and identify a child’s toothbrush, a problem which contributes to cross contamination; 3) there is no way to hygienically or elegantly dispense toothpaste to 20 + children in a classroom without making a mess or running the risk of further cross-contamination.
OraLine Kids was created in 2010 to address these realities, each of which contribute in their own unique way to cross contamination possibilities in the class room. Our first goal was to create an ultraviolet toothbrush sanitizer designed specifically for the classroom setting- large enough to hold 20 toothbrushes and cost effective enough to ensure wide distribution. We have since enhanced that design to include a drying fan and separators between the toothbrushes to inhibit physical cross contamination, and we offer three models targeted to each distinct classroom setting.
In 2011 we introduced Names & Faces, the first custom decorating method designed to individualize toothbrushes in the large classroom setting. Toothbrush marking continues to be a focus, and indeed, may be the most important feature of any cross contamination prevention program. Identification of a product will also save classrooms money in the long run, as the need to continually throw away product diminishes.
We have also applied our technology to the problem of hygienic toothpaste dispensing, so you may expect to see a universal solution to the class room cross contamination problem very soon. At OraLine Kids, we are singularly devoted to a very narrow focus on the public day care environment, and we look forward to hearing your ideas and responses to our newsletters and blogs in the coming months.