No-cost dental screenings are being made available to students who attend HIDOE public schools on Oahu, Maui and Kauai. As part of the National Children’s Health Month, the Hawai‘i Keiki––Hawai‘i Dental Service Dental Sealant Program would like to remind parents of the importance of oral health and encourage them to bring their children to the dentist for a check up.
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The Hawai‘i Keiki—HDS program has provided around 2,000 dental screenings to young students attending public schools since 2019. Through services provided, they have found that of those students around 60% needed dental sealants, however, over 60% of children statewide did not have any. In response to this issue, HDS has expanded their program, seeking out high-need elementary schools that would benefit from a dental sealant day.
To eliminate barriers that families may face accessing oral healthcare, the program brings dental hygienists and licensed dentists directly to school campuses. These visits are accompanied by keiki nurses in coordination with school teachers and staff.
Each visit provides a dental screening and the application of dental sealants. Dental sealants are clear thin or white plastic coatings brushed onto the teeth to prevent cavities and tooth decay by protecting the dips and grooves of the top teeth from food and bacteria. It is quick and easy taking only a few minutes to apply, dry and harden. After the sealant has been applied, students are sent on their way with a goodie bag consisting of a free toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and educational material that encourage them to maintain proper oral hygiene.
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For more information regarding the Hawai‘i Keiki––Hawai‘i Dental Service (HDS) Dental Sealant Program you may visit their site.