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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

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. 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]

     


OHRC Library

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


Details

Chazin S. 2015. Engaging schools to support better oral health for low-income children. Hamilton, NJ: Center for Health Care Strategies, 7 pp

Center for Health Care Strategies
200 American Metro Boulevard, Suite 119
Hamilton, NJ 08619

Telephone: (609) 528-8400
Fax: (609) 586-3679
E-mail:
Website: http://www.chcs.org
Available from the website.

This brief describes the role that school-based oral health programs can play in addressing access to oral health care for children and adolescents from families with low incomes. It highlights opportunities for state Medicaid agencies and public health programs to support school-based efforts to improve oral health among students. Contents include an overview of school-based oral health programs, a discussion of how to engage school decision-makers and other key stakeholders in advancing school-based oral health, and information about challenges and considerations related to working to engage schools and students and their families in oral health.


Details

Hawaii State Department of Education. 2016. Memorandum of agreement between Hawaii Dental Association and Hawaii Department of Education. Honolulu, HI: Hawaii State Department of Education, 4 pp

Hawaii State Department of Education
Honolulu, HI 96813

Telephone: (808) 586-3230
E-mail: doe_info@hawaiidoe.org
Website: http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org
Available from the website.

This memorandum of agreement between the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) and Hawaii Public Policy Advocates describes terms and conditions under which the Hawaii Dental Association is allowed to provide presentations to students in grades 1 and 2 in Hawaii public elementary schools. Contents include start and end dates and names and positions of personnel authorized to access DOE schools. Topics include providing information on dental hygiene, including providing demonstrations of and opportunities for students to practice correct technique; oral health awareness; and access to free oral health services.


Details

National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health. 2015. Results from the School Health Policies and Practices Study 2014. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 165 pp

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329-4027

Telephone: (800) 232-4636
Secondary Telephone: (888) 232-6348
E-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Website: http://www.cdc.gov
Available from the website.

This report provides school- and classroom-level data on each of the following 10 components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model: health education, physical education and physical activity, nutrition environment and services, health services, counseling, psychological and social services, healthy and safe school environment, physical environment, employee wellness, family engagement, and community involvement. Information about oral health education, screening and referral, and professional development are included.


Details

National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health. 2013. Results from the School Health Policies and Practices Study 2012. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 147 pp

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329-4027

Telephone: (800) 232-4636
Secondary Telephone: (888) 232-6348
E-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.gov
Website: http://www.cdc.gov
Available from the website.

This report provides state- and district-level data on each of the following eight components of the Coordinated School Health (CSH) model: health education, physical education, health services, mental health and social services, nutrition services, healthy and safe school environment, faculty and staff health promotion, and family and community involvement. Screenings, notifications, and referrals for oral health problems are included.


Details

Oral Health Colorado. 2015. Smart mouths, smart kids: Improving dental health for Colorado students. Nederland, CO: Oral Health Colorado, 1 v

Oral Health Colorado
P.O. Box 1335
Nederland, CO 80466

Telephone: (303) 258-3339
E-mail: deborah@oralhealthcolorado.org
Website: http://www.oralhealthcolorado.org
Available from the website.

This toolkit provides information and resources on assessing the feasibility of initiating school-linked oral health services and designing and building a sustainable school oral health program. Contents include resources for generating ideas, assessing community needs, creating a budget, developing a business plan, providing a rationale for activities, framing an idea, building a program, and maintaining and sustaining a successful school oral health program. The toolkit also includes a data application (a targeted and focused electronic health record) that can be used to monitor children's oral health status over time.

     

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