Education Just For You - School Staff
A healthy mouth is necessary for a child to grow, learn and thrive in a school environment.
As a child educator, you know that a child in hunger, pain, or distracted by tooth or gum problems may struggle to keep up in school. I-Smile and I-Smile @ School are available to help children have healthy mouths! I-Smile @ School improves the oral health of Iowa’s children by offering preventive dental services in school settings. In addition, I-Smile supports children’s health in school by providing classroom oral health education, implementing tooth brushing programs, and assisting families who are in need of dental treatment.
What can you do to keep your students' mouths healthy?
Partner with I-Smile @ School
I-Smile @ School offers preventive dental services that include: oral screenings, fluoride varnish, dental sealants, and instructions about how to brush and floss. Families also receive help finding a dentist and making dental appointments through care coordination assistance.
Encourage healthy snacking
Frequent snacking on sugary foods increases the risk for decay. Offer fresh fruits and vegetables when possible and avoid sticky, sugary snacks as well as hard candies and mints.
When you offer incentives to children consider things like game days, extra recess time, and dress up days, rather than food.
Encourage children to drink water
Drinking water throughout the day is an easy way to prevent cavities and stay healthy. Encourage children to sip on water throughout the day. Consider a water bottle filling station and a school policy that allows a student to have a water bottle at their desk. Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation provides grants to schools for water bottle filling stations.
Find out if your school is receiving optimal fluoridated tap water to prevent tooth decay by contacting your local water system or visiting the My Water’s Fluoride webpage.
Iowa’s School Dental Screening Requirement
In Iowa, children must have a dental screening before enrolling in kindergarten and 9th grade. Having a healthy, pain-free mouth helps kids learn, grow, and thrive!
For more information about Iowa’s school dental screening requirement, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website.
Check out this video to start your own tooth brushing program in you classroom!