SANTA ROSA – St. Joseph Health System – Sonoma County’s mobile dental clinic is among 10 finalists nationwide to share in a $100,000 cash prize to help grow and support programs that offer easily accessible dental care to needy populations.

The prize, provided by Tom’s of Maine annual “Dental Health For All” program, will be decided by a public vote that will determine five winners, which would be eligible for $20,000 each, from the 10 finalists.

The health system’s Cultivating Health Mobile Dental Clinic provides preventative and restorative treatment for low-income individuals at a housing center in Sonoma Valley once a week and at the Sonoma Valley Women-Infants-Children Center once a month. Access to preventative dental care is a major issue in California, with tooth decay being the most common chronic childhood disease – more common than asthma and obesity, according to California Dental Association.  Tooth decay is easily preventable, but does not heal without treatment.

Voting is under way at http://tomsofmaine.com/community-involvement/serving-community/finalists-overview/poll and runs through February 28. Voting can be done up to five times per day. A winner will be announced in March.

The Tom’s of Maine program has helped make almost 200,000 additional patient visits possible, with $900,000 in funding to more than 25 school and community-based clinics, the company said. This year, the program is focused on mobile clinics, which bring services directly to populations that lack access to dental care.

Tom’s of Maine is a natural products company, based in Kennebunk, Maine., focused on oral and personal care, selling toothpaste, mouth wash, dental floss and other hygiene products.