Schools are ideal settings for providing students with oral health knowledge and skills, along with other health practices such as hand washing, exercise, and safety practices. Quality oral health for all children and adolescents is imperative if they are going to reach their levels of optimum success in school and in life. When children’s oral health suffers, so does their ability to learn and to interact with others. These are both essential to build a foundation for a qualify life as an adult.
Oral Health Kansas, with funding from Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation, and in partnership with Kansas Coordinated School Health Program, has developed oral health guidelines. These documents are designed to support school districts that wish to integrate oral health into school policies and classroom activities. They offer ideas and suggestions so that district and building administrators can select those that are most appropriate for their communities, teachers and students.
The documents include a list of oral health topics essential for students to learn, strategies for incorporating oral health into each of the eight components of Kansas Coordinated School Health, ideas for incorporating oral health into classroom activities, and a list of oral health curricula appropriate for all grades -- pre-k through high school.
To improve the oral health of students through policies, practices and programs implemented by Kansas School Districts
- Develop a district-wide oral health plan, with a set of policies and practices, designed to prevent oral health disease or to identify it early enough to ward off serious and life-threatening illnesses
- Commit the school district to work toward “Exemplary” strategies in the eight components of the Coordinated School Oral Health Program and for all students in the Health Education Guidelines
- Select an oral health curriculum for classrooms appropriate for the district and community
- Incorporate toothbrushing and flossing in preschool, kindergarten, and primary grades, using an evidence-based approach
- Include dental professions when students are exploring career opportunities
- Participate in Bureau of Oral Health (KDHE) School Screening Program
- Establish a school-based dental hygiene program for children qualifying for Medicaid/HealthWave and free and reduced lunch programs
- Establish a school-based dental clinic as part of a school health clinic
Oral Health Kansas provides consultation to school districts on Coordinated School Oral Health Guidelines. It also works in close partnership with Kansas School Nurse Organization to provide access to free educational materials, newsletter articles for staff, students and community members and consultation.
Newsletter Articles – OHK provides free articles for state and local newsletters focusing on oral health issues related to children, youth and their families of all ages. The articles are appropriate for school and community newsletters, school and student newsletters, and family newsletters. OHK can also provide journalism classes with a variety of oral health topics for student articles.
Tips and Tricks for Oral Health – OHK offers these one-page public awareness materials on a wide variety of oral health topics. Many are in English and Spanish.
How to Brush Someone Else’s Teeth – A 12-minute video produced by Kansas Dental Association with Heartspring of Wichita. It features an occupational therapist coaching teen-age students on better toothbrushing skills.
Bureau of Oral Health (KDHE)
Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (KDHE)
Kansas School Nurse Organization
Parents as Teachers
Distance Learning Opportunities
Open Wide: Oral Health Training for Health (and Education) Professionals http://www.mchoralhealth.org/OpenWide/index.htm
Special Care: An Oral Health,(Health, and Education) Professionals Guide to Serving Children with Special Health Care Needs
Healthy Smiles for Child and Youth with Special Health Care Needs: KS-TRAIN # 1015072(CE)
Free Materials to Download
Oral Health and Learning
Pain and Suffering Shouldn’t Be An Option: School-based and School-linked Oral Health Services for Children and Adolescents
Fluoride Varnish: An Effective Tool for Preventing Dental Caries
Preventing Tooth Decay and Saving Teeth with Dental Sealants
Seal Out Tooth Decay
Spit Tobacco: A Guide for Quitting
Best Practices for School and Adolescent Oral Health
Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors publishes examples of Best Practices in Oral Health.Several focus on school and adolescent oral health. These examples are useful to school districts wishing to learn more about school-based oral health programs.
School-Based Dental Sealant Programs
http://www.astdd.org/index.php?template=sdescfull.php&bpareport=School-basedDental Sealant Programs
Improving Children’s Oral Health through Coordinated School Health Programs
http://www.astdd.org/index.php?template=sdescfull.php&bpareport=ImprovingChildren's Oral Health through Coordinated School Health Programs
Oral Health of Children, Adolescents and Adults with Special Health Care Needs
http://www.astdd.org/index.php?template=sdescfull.php&bpareport=Oral Health of Children, Adolescents and Adults with Special Health Care Needs
Prevention and Control of Early Childhood Tooth Decay
http://www.astdd.org/index.php?template=sdescfull.php&bpareport=Prevention and Control of Early Childhood Tooth Decay