Preventive Dental Screening for All Codman Students
Oral health is essential to overall health of a child and is an integral part of social and emotional well being of a child. Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children in the U.S. Children from low income families and neighborhoods are disproportionately affected by dental disease at all ages.
According to Centers for Disease Control, one out of every four children ages 6 to 19 living in poverty has untreated tooth decay, compared with one of every 13 children in those age groups who are economically better off. Just above the poverty level, rates of untreated tooth decay are almost twice as high among African-American and Hispanic children compared with Caucasian children.
Access to preventive dental care is a real challenge for low-income families.The implications of dental-related disease for overall health and well-being are significant. Untreated tooth decay affects all aspects of a child’s life. Painful and obvious decay compromises one’s ability to eat, sleep, play, and learn, and negatively affects self-esteem and social development and missed school days.
Part 1: Oral Health Education
The CSHC dental staff provides practical, and age appropriate oral Health Education to all Codman Academy students in the classroom, and within the health center environment. By educating students in the classroom that good oral hygiene is the first step towards preventing chronic dental disease and by sharing career paths for the dental profession and connection with the professionals, we hope to compound the prevention for students and their families and inspire students to consider dentistry as a possible profession.
Teachers and school administration are informed of screening dates and logistics, at least a week in advance. Letter informing parents/legal guardian are sent home informing them about the screening process and follow up steps. The letter will provide an opt-out option for those parents who would not want their students to participate.
The mission of Codman POHPS is to increase access to preventive, diagnostic and restorative dental care to all Codman Academy students and families. The premise of our program is based on the belief that the sound oral health is essential for the healthy growth of children and the good oral health contributes to academic and social success of all school age children.
Part 2: Dental Screenings
The purpose of dental screening would be to identify any dental issues like tooth decay, dental caries, gum disease or any other dental condition that a student would benefit from dental care and treatment followed by a detailed exam. To create preventive services equity by reaching out to all Codman students and providing an opportunity to parents/families for follow up care. The basic oral screening does not replace regular dental checkups or screening by a student’s dentist. A team of registered CSHC dental hygienist or a dentist to evaluate dental needs will perform the basic oral screening.
A copy of the screening results will be provided to the school nurse office and to the specific classroom teacher. Classroom teacher and the school nurse will play a crucial role in reaching out to the parents and families with screening results and steps to access follow up care.
Parent and Family Communication for Follow Up Care:
The parent communication letter will also provide an option to either see a dentist at the dental department -CSHC or visit a dentist of their own choice.
Those parents/legal guardian intending to bring their students to see a dentist at CSHC for further screening and follow up care are required to accompany their student for the first visit. This visit will ensure that parents meet with the CSHC dentist/dental hygienist, discuss the treatment plan, sign HIPPA forms, provide insurance information and understand next steps.