Preschool-Based Oral Health Programs

GSDM’s community outreach includes providing screenings and/or oral health education to over 2000 children in Boston area preschools, day care centers, Early Head Start, and Head Start programs; oral health education to parents and guardians; and oral health education to preschool teachers, staff, and administrators.

Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Early Head Start and Head Start: GPH faculty conducted Early Head Start oral health screenings, examinations, fluoride varnish, and referrals for 242 children enrolled in ABCD Early Head Start Centers located in Dorchester, East Boston, Old Colony, Infants and Other People, Bradshaw, Roxbury, the South End, and Madison-Park High School in Boston.  Additionally, oral health education was provided for 200 children enrolled at Dorchester Head Start and160 children enrolled at South Boston Head Start.  An oral health presentation was given by a GPH faculty member to the ABCD Central Health Advisory Committee.

Allston Brighton Area Planning Action Council (APAC): Interactive classroom dental health education was conducted at an APAC child care center by GSDM faculty, and goodie bags with toothbrushes, toothpaste, stickers, and other items were given to the children at the end of the session.

Ashmont Nursery School: Classroom dental education was provided to 27 preschool children enrolled at Ashmont Nursery School in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  The preschoolers enjoyed interactive activities, including brushing the teeth of our popular dental puppet, and goodie bags were distributed at completion of the program.

Associated Early Care and Education:  Each year GPH conducts an oral health program offering dental health education, oral screenings, and fluoride varnish applications to 470 children, as well as staff and parent training, at the Jamaica Plain, Sunnyside, Ruggles/Gilday, and Castle Square sites.

Chelsea Family Network:  GPH provided oral health education and dental screenings for 37 children between the ages of 3 and 5 years of age at Kangaroo’s Pouch during the 2012-2013 school year.  Dental education was provided for parents of enrolled children, helping to remind parents of the importance of initiating good oral health habits and routine dental care early in their children’s lives.  A GPH faculty member serves each year as the health representative on the Family Network Advisory Council.

Community Action Programs Inter-City (CAPIC) Head Start:  Dental health education, screenings, and fluoride varnish applications were provided twice during the 2012-2013 school year for 265 Head Start children ages 3 to 5 years enrolled in the CAPIC Head Start (Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop) Program.  At the Irene O’Connell Center Open House in Revere, GSDM faculty and staff talked with parents about the Chelsea School Dental Program.  Included in the parent presentations were explanations about the oral health promotion activities offered through the program and the availability of resources offered to all Chelsea Head Start and public school children at the Chelsea School Dental Center.  A GPH representative is an active member of the CAPIC Head Start Health Advisory Committee.

Crispus Attucks Children’s Center: Dental screenings and oral health education were offered to 230 children enrolled in Crispus Attucks Children’s Center in Dorchester, which serves children between the ages of 6 weeks to 6 years.

Framingham South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) Head Start:  As a part of the Framingham School Dental Program, 170 preschool age children were provided oral health education, and 86 children received dental screenings and fluoride treatments.  Two oral health information sessions were presented to SMOC staff and parents of enrolled children, providing an opportunity to educate both staff and parents about oral health and to increase parents’ awareness of the many community services available to them in the Framingham area.

Greater Lawrence Community Child Care Center: Oral health education, dental screenings, and fluoride varnish applications were provided to 150 preschool children enrolled at the Greater Lawrence Community Child Care Center.

Horizons for Homeless Children:  Oral health education, dental screenings, and fluoride varnish treatments were offered to 76 children ages 6 weeks to 6 years enrolled at Horizons for Homeless Children in Dorchester.

Step Forward Learning Center: Oral health education was provided to 40 children ages 3 to 5 years, and 12 children received dental screenings and fluoride varnish applications at this Framingham based day care program.

Temple Emeth Nursery School: Oral health education was provided to 30 children ages 3 to 5 years attending the Temple Emeth Nursery School located in Chestnut Hill.  The children enjoyed interactive activities, including a toothbrushing lesson with our popular dental puppet, and goodie bags with oral hygiene supplies and stickers were given out at the end of the session.