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School Oral Health Services

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This collection of selected resources offers high-quality information about oral health services for school-age children and adolescents. Use the tools below for further searching, or contact us for personalized assistance.

Key Facts

  Share these facts to help improve the oral health of pregnant women, children, adolescents, and their families.

  • Implementing school-based oral health services more widely could significantly improve the state of children’s oral health in our nation. 1
  • Relevant, age-appropriate oral health education combined with, at minimum, preventive oral health services provided at school would benefit students at all grade levels. Additionally, access to school-based oral health services would address some of the issues that parents face when attempting to access oral health care for their children. 2
  • Incorporating oral health services into school-based health centers would contribute to improved academic performance and better quality of life for students at all grade levels. 2
  • School-based health centers are an ideal setting to meet the oral health care needs of school-aged children. School-based health centers overcome traditional barriers to serve ethnically and racially diverse clients, groups that experience the greatest likelihood of being underinsured or uninsured and who face significant challenges accessing health care. 1
  • Increasing parents’ health literacy and self-efficacy by teaching them how to navigate both health insurance and health care systems could reduce parents’ frustration. School-based oral health programs could become the link between parents who have little experience with oral health care and a complex health insurance system that many parents do not understand. 3
  • School-based oral health programs that deliver care via alternative work force models (e.g., using Extended Care Permit dental hygienists) may be an effective way to improve the oral health status of children from families with low incomes. 4
  • Children and adolescents from families with low incomes who use oral health services at school-based oral health program and follow the risk-based care recommended guidelines can significantly decrease their risk for dental caries and onset of new disease. 5
  • Intensive toothbrushing instruction, particularly when accom­panied by daily distribution of free pre-pasted tooth­brushes, may lead to improved oral hygiene among children living below the federal poverty level. 6
  • School nurses, who tend to know families and understand how to meet students’ needs in a culturally sensitive manner, are ideally situated to serve as oral health champions for school-based dental clinics. 7
  • Almost one-fourth of traumatic oral injuries occur at schools or in their surroundings. Having a tooth knocked out is a serious injury that can result in many oral health problems. 8

References

  1. Keeton V, Soleimanpour S, Brindis C. 2012. School-based health centers in an era of health care reform: Building on history. Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care 42(6):132–156.
  2. Dodd VJ, Logan H, Brown CD, Calderon A, Catalanotto F. 2014. Perceptions of oral health, preventive care, and care-seeking behaviors among rural adolescents. Journal of School Health 84(12):802–809.
  3. Cortes DE, Réategui-Sharpe L, Spiro III A, García RI. 2012. Factors affecting children’s oral health: Perceptions among Latino parents. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 72(1):82–89.
  4. Simmer-Beck M, Walker M, Gadbury-Amyot C, Liu Y, Kelly P, Branson B. 2015. Effectiveness of an alternative dental workforce model on the oral health of low-income children in a school-based settting. American Journal of Public Health 105(9):1763–1769.  
  5. Watanabe MK, Hostetler JT, Patel YM, Vergel JM, Bernardo MA, Foley ME. 2016. The impact of risk-based care on early childhood and youth populations. California Dental Journal 44(6):367–377.
  6. Colaizza LR, Tomar SL, Urdegar SM, Kass SH. 2016. Does the structure of dental hygiene instructions impact plaque control in primary school students? Journal of Dental Hygiene 89(3):180–189.
  7. Carpino R, Walker MP, Liu Y, Simmer-Beck M. 2016. Assessing the effectiveness of a school-based dental clinic on the oral health of children who lack access to dental care: A program evaluation. Journal of School Nursing [Epub ahead of print].
  8. Baginska J, Wilczynska-Borawska M. 2012. First-aid algorithms in dental avulsion. The Journal of School Nursing 28(2):90–94.

OHRC Publications

This section contains OHRC-produced materials.


Details

Barzel R, Holt K. 2012. Child and adolescent oral health issues. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 8 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This fact sheet provides health professionals with information on issues related to child and adolescent oral health. Topics include dental caries, access to care, children and adolescents with special health care needs, dental sealants, fluorides, nutrition, injury and violence, and tobacco. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Bertness J, Holt K, Barzel R, eds. 2016. Promoting oral health in schools: A resource guide (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 38 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This guide provides resources to help health professionals, program administrators, educators, parents, and others promote oral health and prevent oral disease in school-age children and adolescents. The guide is divided into two sections. The first section describes materials such as brochures, fact sheets, guidelines, curricula, and reports. The second section lists federal agencies, national professional associations, resource centers, and national coalitions that may serve as resources. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Carter NL, Lowe E, with American Association for Community Dental Programs and the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center. 2016. Seal America: The prevention invention (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 1 v

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This manual is designed to assist health professionals in launching and sustaining school-based dental sealant programs (SBSPs). In addition to offering a step-wise approach for planning and implementing SBSPs, the manual addresses issues related to referring students with unmet oral health needs to a dental clinic or office. Health professionals working in established SBSPs may also find the manual of interest as they work to improve specific aspects of their programs. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Casamassimo P, Holt K, eds. 2016. Bright Futures: Oral health—Pocket guide (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 90 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This pocket guide offers health professionals an overview of preventive oral health supervision for five periods—pregnancy and postpartum, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. The pocket guide is designed to help health professionals implement specific oral health guidelines during these periods. For each period, information about family preparation, risk assessment, interview questions, screening, examination, preventive procedures, anticipatory guidance, measurable outcomes, and referrals are discussed. The content aligns with Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents (4th ed.). [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Holt K, Barzel R. 2010. Preventing tooth decay and saving teeth with dental sealants (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 4 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This fact sheet for professionals provides information on the use of dental sealants in preventing tooth decay and in arresting the progression of decay. Topics include access to care, disparities in care, public awareness, cost-effectiveness, and programs. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Holt K, Barzel R. 2013. Oral health and learning: When children's oral health suffers, so does their ability to learn (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 4 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This fact sheet presents information on the effects of poor oral health on learning in school-age children. Topics include the impact of poor oral health on school performance and social relationships, nutrition and learning, school attendance and learning, and programs for improving oral health. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Holt K, Barzel R. 2010. Pain and suffering shouldn't be an option: School-based and school-linked oral health services for children and adolescents. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 4 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This fact sheet provides information about the importance of good oral health during childhood and adolescence. Topics include school readiness, disparities, oral trauma, nutrition, dental sealants, fluoride varnish, and school-based and school-linked oral health services. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Holt K, Barzel R. 2011. Comprehensive oral health services for improving children's and adolescents' oral health through school-based health centers. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 12 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This paper provides an overview of comprehensive oral health services offered in school-based health centers to assist those interested in initiating and implementing such centers. Topics include an overview and history of school-based health services, examples of national and state programs, administration, partnership and collaboration, financial and nonfinancial support, and evaluation. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Lowe E, Barzel R, Holt K. 2016. Integrating sustainable oral health services into primary care in school-based health centers: A framework. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 1 v

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This framework offers ideas for school-based health centers (SBHCs) to consider when integrating sustainable comprehensive oral health services into primary care to improve the quality of oral health care of school-age children and adolescents. The framework presents a description of six levels of integration to help SBHCs evaluate their current level of integration and 10 key elements to more fully integrate sustainable comprehensive oral health services into primary care in SBHCs. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Lowe E, Holt K. 2011. Be an oral health champion: How school-based clinic staff can help students achieve good oral health. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 4 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This document provides information that school-based clinic staff can use to help improve students’ oral health. The document offers tips for promoting oral health with students and parents, describes other problems that students with poor oral health may have, and offers tips for incorporating oral health into the school setting and for working with others in the community. The document emphasizes the important effect that staff can have on students’ lives by helping students achieve good oral health. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center. 2017. Dental sealants: A resource guide (4th ed.). Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 20 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This resource guide provides information to health professionals about the use and application of dental sealants. The first section describes materials, such as brochures, fact sheets, guidelines, curricula, and reports. The second section lists federal agencies, national professional associations, and resource centers that may serve as resources. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center and Maryland Department of Health, Office of Oral Health. 2015–. Maryland Mighty Tooth: School-based dental sealant training program. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center; Baltimore, MD: Maryland Department of Health, Office of Oral Health, multiple items

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Oral Health
201 West Preston Street, Third Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201

Telephone: (410) 767-5300
Secondary Telephone: (800) 735-2258
Fax: (410) 333-7392
E-mail: dhmh.oralhealth@maryland.gov
Website: http://phpa.dhmh.maryland.gov/oralhealth/Pages/home.aspx
Available from the website.

This training program for school-based dental sealant program (SBSP) staff in Maryland provides information about the history, operations, and underlying principles of SBSPs. Topics include guidelines for infection control in school-based programs, tooth selection and assessment for dental sealants, the sealant-application process, and program operations. Self-assessment quizzes are included.

     


OHRC Library

This section contains recent materials, not including OHRC-produced materials.


Details

Iowa Department of Public Health. 2017. I-Smile™ @ School: School-based oral health programs. (Rev. ed.). [Des Moines, IA]: Iowa Department of Public Health, 1 v

Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Oral and Health Delivery Systems
Lucas State Office Building 321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

Telephone: (515) 242-6383
Secondary Telephone: (866) 528-4020
Fax: (515) 242-6384
Website: http://www.idph.iowa.gov/ohds

This manual outlines expectations of agencies receiving grant funds for school-based dental sealant programs in Iowa to help them achieve their program goals. The manual provides an introduction to school-based dental sealant programs and discusses regulatory guidelines; program requirements; forms, reporting, and recording; and budget and funding information. Sample forms and letters are included.


Details

National Children's Oral Health Foundation. 2017. Oral health education program guide book. Charlotte, NC: National Children's Oral Health Foundation, 6 pp

National Children's Oral Health Foundation
4108 Park Road, Suite 300
Charlotte, NC 28209

Telephone: (704) 350-1600
Secondary Telephone: (800) 559-9838
Fax: (704) 350-1333
E-mail: info@ncohf.org
Website: http://www.ncohf.org
Available from the website.

This document provides guidance on creating school- or community-based oral health projects. Contents include descriptions of activities in the following three areas of the public health model: changing beliefs, changing behavior, and changing the environment. Topics include starting a conversation about oral health, making positive choices easier, and getting involved in local and national public awareness initiatives.


Details

School-Based Health Alliance and Oral Health 2020 Network. 2018. School oral health: An organizational framework to improve outcomes for children and adolescents. Washington DC: School-Based Health Alliance; Oral Health 2020 Network, 9 pp

School-Based Health Alliance
1010 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005

Telephone: (202) 638-5872
Secondary Telephone: (888) 286-8727
Fax: (202) 638-5879
E-mail: info@nasbhc.org
Website: http://www.sbh4all.org
Available from the website.

This paper presents a framework for how communities can achieve improved and more equitable oral health outcomes. The framework includes five components, each of which is discussed in detail: oral health education, oral health screening, preventive oral health care, care coordination and linkage to community-based care, and preventive oral health care and oral health treatment in schools. Data collection and sustainability are discussed, and next steps are presented.


Details

School-Based Health Alliance and Oral Health 2020 Network. 2018. Confronting the consent conundrum: Lessons from a school oral health community. Washington DC: School-Based Health Alliance; Oral Health 2020 Network, 6 pp

School-Based Health Alliance
1010 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005

Telephone: (202) 638-5872
Secondary Telephone: (888) 286-8727
Fax: (202) 638-5879
E-mail: info@nasbhc.org
Website: http://www.sbh4all.org
Available from the website.

This document presents ideas that emerged from the School-Based Health Alliance initiative, Strengthening School Oral Health Services and Growing the School Oral Health Learning Community, and that resulted in an increase in the number of positive parental consents for school oral health services. The initiative encompassed the 10 largest U.S. school districts, which serve more than 4 million students, including a significant number of high-need students. The document discusses school engagement, family engagement, community engagement, oral health education, and data collection and use.


Details

Sealant Work Group. 2017. Report of the Sealant Work Group: Recommendations & products. Washington, DC: Children's Dental Health Project, 19 pp

Children's Dental Health Project
1020 19th Street, N.W., Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

Telephone: (202) 833-8288
Fax: (202) 331-1432
E-mail: info@cdhp.org
Website: https://www.cdhp.org
Available from the website.

This report provides work group recommendations for states to strengthen the ability of school-based dental sealant programs to reach more children, especially those at highest risk for dental caries. Contents include recommendations in the following priority areas: promoting evidence-based and promising practices; communicating with families, the community, and school staff; collecting, analyzing, and reporting data; addressing Medicaid and reporting data; and addressing Medicaid and regulatory hurdles. A summary of the recommendations, an infographic, a questions-and-answers document, and a communications plan worksheet are also available.

     

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