School-Based Oral Health Programs

The Office of Global and Population Health at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine currently runs five city wide school-based oral health programs that operate in 62 schools and 21 preschools in Boston, Chelsea, Framingham, Natick, and Lawrence delivering preventive services to thousands of children, including oral health education, dental screenings, fluoride applications, and sealant placement. Through our school-based programs during the 2015-16 academic year 17,880 children were served: 16,374 children were provided oral health education, 5,889 received oral screenings, 5,799 received fluoride, and 4,516 dental sealants were placed for 1,486 children.

Chelsea Comprehensive School-Based Dental Program: For the 16th year in Chelsea, GSDM provided city wide comprehensive services including classroom education, dental screenings, dental sealant placement, fluoride varnish applications, and restorative dental care for children enrolled in Chelsea’s five public elementary schools. Through partnerships with CAPIC Head Start and the Chelsea Family Network, services are also provided to many of Chelsea’s preschoolers. This comprehensive oral health program is included in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Health Care Innovations Exchange, a national program designed to support health care professionals in sharing and adopting innovations that improve the delivery of care to underserved patients.

Framingham School Dental Program: GPH operates a town wide school-based dental program for grade school children within eight public elementary schools. During the 2015-16 school year, oral health education was provided to 2969 students in grades kindergarten through fourth grade. Additionally, 809 children received a dental screening and fluoride treatment. A total of 578 sealants were placed for 176 children.

Lawrence School Dental Program: Children in all nine elementary schools and four middle schools in the City of Lawrence are provided oral health education, dental screenings, fluoride applications, and sealants. In total, GPH faculty and staff presented oral health education to 5596 students, dental screenings and fluoride for 1591 students, and 1077 sealants were placed on 344 students.

Natick School Dental Program: GPH runs a town wide school-based dental program for grade school children within all five public elementary schools in Natick. During the 2015-16 school year, 544 children received oral health education, 99 received oral screenings and fluoride, and 120 sealants were placed on 34 children.

Smart Smiles in Boston Public Schools: During the 2015-16 school year, GPH provided education for 3726 children; dental screenings, fluoride application and dental cleanings for 1282 children; and 1131 sealants were provided to 372 children in 31 Boston Public Schools including: Beethoven, Boston Teachers Union, Clap, Conley, Dudley Charter, EDCO Youth Alternative, English High, Everett, Grew, Hale, Haley, Henderson Lower, Higginson-Lewis, Holmes, Hurley, Kilmer Lower, Kilmer Upper, Lyndon, Mason, McKay, McCormack Middle School, Mission Hill, Mozart, Orchard Gardens, Perkins, Roosevelt Lower, Roosevelt Upper, Sumner, Trotter, Winthrop, and Young Achievers. In addition to preventive services, restorations were provided at the Orchard Gardens School during the 2015-16 school year. Supervised by GPS faculty, DMD 4 students worked at this school as part of their pediatric rotation. Three hundred sixty restorations were completed for 141 children.