Panhandle Public Health District leads 10 school-based preventive dental health programs within our district. We strive to reduce dental disease in children. Untreated tooth decay can lead to pain, infection, and ultimately problems with speaking, eating, working and playing.
The preventive dental services provided are:
We partner with head starts, preschools, and school districts. To participate in the program, parents are required to sign a consent form for treatment. Each child screened with be sent home with a referral form indicating if there is a need for urgent or early dental care.
Is your school participating in PPHD’s Dental Health Program-Keeping Teeth Strong? You can call your child’s school or PPHD at 308-633-2866. This program does NOT replace your child’s regular dental visits. It is an additional benefit to help prevent dental decay.
Fluoride Varnish Facts:
- Re-mineralizes weakened tooth enamel and prevents almost 40% of cavities in primary (baby) teeth.
- Fluoride varnish is a sticky, honey like material that is applied to the teeth with a small brush. It is called varnish due to its sticky consistency.
- Fluoride varnish can be applied 4-6 times per year, and can decrease further cavity development by about 38%.
- A typical fluoride varnish application costs roughly $30 plus the cost of an office visit.
- Fluoride varnish is safe. It adheres to teeth once it comes in contact with saliva and is precisely applied to the teeth.
- Fluoride varnish is approved by the American Dental Association and the Federal Drug Administration.
- Fluoride is an effective way to prevent cavities and tooth decay. Another safe and beneficial way to prevent decay is varnish (sealant).
Dental Sealant Facts:
- Tooth decay often begins on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. These surfaces have pits and grooves that trap plaque, bacteria, and bits of food. The pits and grooves are hard to keep clean, because toothbrush bristles cannot reach into them.
- A dental sealant is a tooth colored/white material applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant material flows into the pits and grooves in the teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel by sealing out plaque, bacteria, and food.
Sealants are most often placed in young children and teenagers, since tooth decay can start soon after teeth come in. But adults can sometimes benefit from sealants too, because you never outgrow the risk for developing cavities.
Click here for more supporting evidence for school-based dental programs.