SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., September 7, 2023—Back to school season is here! Community Health Center of Snohomish County (CHC) is happy to announce that we will be returning to local elementary schools this year to provide “smile checks” and dental sealants to students.
A “smile check” is a dental screening to identify any untreated cavities or areas of infection. It is provided to students at no-cost to their family. CHC dental providers will send students home with an oral health report card for their parents – all information for dental follow-ups will be included in these report cards.
A dental sealant is a thin protective coating that is applied to the surface of back teeth to protect against cavity-causing bacteria. CHC dental providers will apply sealants to students if needed, and with parental consent, at no-cost to their families.
Through the dental sealant program, CHC aims to increase awareness of oral health and cavity prevention, and to increase access to preventative dental care for underserved patient populations. Providing this access in a school setting allows CHC to offer convenience for students and their families.
Last school year, CHC of Snohomish County provided dental sealants to students in the Mukilteo, Edmonds, and San Juan Island School Districts.
- In the Edmonds School District, 444 students were screened, and 51% of these students were in need of at least one dental sealant. Overall, 692 molars were sealed.
- In Mukilteo School District, 361 students were screened, and 64% of these students were in need of at least one dental sealant. Overall, 755 molars were sealed.
- In San Juan Island School District, 83 students were screened, and 76% of these students were in need of at least one dental sealant. Overall, 257 molars were sealed.
“We are very pleased with the number of students we screened last year and are excited to continue this program for the coming school year,” said Sue Yoon, Chief Dental Officer at CHC of Snohomish County. “Ensuring children and families understand the significance of good oral health is not just about bright smiles; it’s about empowering them with a lifelong foundation of wellness. Teaching kids about oral hygiene today is an investment in their overall health and well-being tomorrow.”
This school year, CHC of Snohomish County will begin our Smile Check program in September, and dental sealant program in January. These will take place in the Edmonds, Everett, and Mukilteo School District.
The partnership between San Juan County and CHC came out of CHC’s shared work on the North Sound Accountable Communities of Health (NSACH). Due to their geographic isolation, the San Juan Islands are challenged to provide access to dental care. Our mobile sealant program was able to travel and bring preventative services to this community. Further discussions and planning are still needed prior to determining what our commitment in year two could look like. To learn more about CHC of Snohomish County, visit our website at www.chcsno.org.
SOURCE: Community Health Center of Snohomish County