Dental screenings in schools: Do they help?

Dental screenings in schools: Do they help?

Free dental screenings is one of the services that schools give to students. Local governments request schools give this free dental care as a way to provide health services especially to kids from low-income families. But, it’s also a way for the government to assess the oral health in the school and in the community while increasing students’ awareness about oral health.

What is a dental screening?

Dental screening for children in schools, commonly termed as a “no touch” exam, refers to a visual check of the mouth that is usually done by a public dental hygienist or a dental care professional. The dental care professional would normally use a sterilized mirror and a bright light to examine the child’s teeth and gums.

Schools’ dental screening guidelines require that the result of the screening be reflected in the child’s dental report card, which would be kept by the school with a copy sent to the parents.

dental screening school

Benefits of Dental Screening in Schools

As observed by teachers and parents, dental screening in schools have a number of benefits aside from the availability or access to free preventative dental services for children from low-income families. Some of the other benefits include:

  • Dental screenings foster dental health education and greater awareness on the part of the students regarding the importance of their oral health
  • The fear that most children have toward dental professionals is addressed and minimized because they are introduced to them at a younger age. Also, because they are with their peers in school when the dental screenings are conducted, they receive peer support, thus making their experience less traumatic and more fun.
  • Results of screening can provide parents information about their children’s dental needs.
  • The screening can help children and parents to detect oral problems and diseases at an earlier time and prevent those problems from becoming worse.

Dental Screening vs Dental exam

While dental screenings may have a number of benefits to offer, it must be remembered that it does not replace having an exam with a dentist.

During a dental exam, the dentist will not only check your child’s mouth, but will also clean his or her teeth, check for cavities, examine his or her mouth, face, neck and throat for any growth or abnormalities and even perform other diagnostic procedures for preventative dental health and care. As compared to a dental screening, a full dental exam with the dentist is far more comprehensive and would produce better results than the “no touch” procedure used in dental screenings.

If you are concerned about your child’s dental health and you want him to undergo a gentle, friendly and comfortable dental exam, visit Dr. Erica Bronitsky, DMD, now at Bronitsky Family Dentistry. Dr. Erica and her excellent team of dental care professionals will ensure that you and your family’s oral health will be taken care of through their top-of-the-line procedures and treatments.

Call Bronitsky Family Dentistry today at (503) 563-7434 to book your appointment!

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