Dental care for students

It’s difficult to concentrate on school work if you’ve got a tooth ache.

That’s where Northwoods Dental Project comes in.

The Northwoods Dental Project of Florence, Forest, Vilas and Oneida counties has received a $17,640 Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile Grant to help eliminate that situation.

“Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile is a statewide sealant program that offers grants to local school-based dental sealant programs,” announced Annette Seibold, Florence County Health Department Director.

Seal-A-Smile is funded by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services through State General Purpose Revenue and a generous grant from the Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation.

The Seal-A-Smile program is managed collaboratively by Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin and DHS Oral Health Program.

Statewide, the program provides care to children in 58 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile programs provide oral screenings, dental sealants, oral health education and fluoride varnish application in the schools using evidence-based practices.

Wisconsin Seal-A-Smile targets schools where at least 35 percent of the enrolled children participate in the free and reduced meal program.

Any students in need of additional dental care are referred to local dental offices.

The great thing about this program is that Northwoods Dental Project will provide 600 students with preventive dental services to help keep them healthy and free of dental pain during the upcoming school year.

Dental decay (cavities) is the most common chronic childhood disease, Seibold said.

Despite advances in prevention, some children still suffer unnecessarily with dental pain and infection, Seibold said.

Often the dental conditions prevent children from attending school.

That’s not the way to improve your child’s education.

Dental sealants are an evidenced-based strategy for preventing cavities. Many uninsured and low-income children lack access to regular preventive dental care, including sealants.

Northwoods Dental Project serves schools in Florence, Forest, Oneida and Vilas counties during the 2014-15 school year.

While the program uses grant funding to deliver the school-based services, local organizations are also important as they make financial contributions, donate supplies, and volunteer time to support the program.

Northwoods Dental Project works with children, families, dental and other health care professionals to help prevent tooth decay and cavities by providing:

– Oral health exams and risk assessments of children’s teeth at Early Head Start, Head Start centers and school districts.

– Oral health education for children and community members.

– Dental sealants and fluoride varnish for children at risk for tooth decay.

– Help for families searching for a dental office.

– Dental resources for schools, day care centers, and Head Start centers.

– Participation in community health fairs and wellness projects.

– Oral Health Programs.

Northwoods Dental Project has provided a school-based dental sealant program since 2005. For more information, contact Seibold at (715) 528-4837.