The school I work at is in a very low socio economic area. Because of this we get targeted for many free or reduced cost programs to help the kids and their families out. One of these programs is a dental hygiene program. It is so great. Teachers who choose to participate are given a HUGE supply of toothbrushes, toothbrush covers, dental floss and fluoride for the children to use at school. As soon as we get parental permission for students to participate in the program, we get the program rolling.
Everyday, right after lunch, the kids brush their teeth, floss and are given fluouride. The program runs like clockwork. We can get all 20 kids done in about 5-6 minutes. I never forget to do it either because I have a "Toothbrush Captain!" He/She guides the toothbrushing activity in front of the room and then always finds the fluoride bottle since I always place it in a different spot each day!
This year, something new was added to the Dental Hygiene program. Students in 2nd and 5th grade are being targeted for Dental Sealant. Earlier in the year, all of the students in both grades were screened in their classrooms to see if their teeth were healthy enough for the sealant. A dental hygenist came in and saw all the kids in about 20 minutes. Kids who had healthy teeth were sent home with a note asking for permission to put the sealant on the teeth at a later date. Kids who had unhealthy teeth were given a note home explaining just what was wrong with their teeth along with a recommendation for free dental care to repair their teeth. All kid got a little packet with a toothbrush, toothpaste and a timer to use at home when brushing their teeth.
Last week was my classroom's week for getting the sealant placed on their teeth. 17 out of my 20 kids were eligible.
I am so grateful to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency for providing this amazing and FREE service to my students and other children in the county who really need the extra help.