Smart Mouths Smart Kids

 
Smart Mouths Smart Kids (SMSK) is a toolkit for dental and medical professionals, school nurses, teachers and administrators, dental and medical educators, parents, stakeholders and partners.
 
The purpose of this toolkit is to encourage communities to establish sustainable preventive oral health programs in their schools, and to develop relationships with dental providers that will assure dental homes for children.
 
SMSK is the result of a collaborative agreement between CDPHE and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 
Dental sealants are
  • Plastic coatings that are painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) for the prevention of tooth decay (cavities).
  • A protective shield to keep germs and pieces of food out.
  • A proven preventive oral health strategy for children.
  • Can last from five to 10 years, in conjunction with good oral hygiene.
  • Best applied when first permanent molars erupt into the mouth at about age 6 and second permanent molars erupt at about age 12.
Who should receive sealants
  • All children, but especially those with limited or no access to a dental provider. According to the 2011-12 Children’s Oral Health Screening Survey:
    • Children at schools with the highest percent of students eligible for the free and reduced price lunch (FRL) program had a higher prevalence of tooth decay than children at schools with a lower percentage of students eligible for the FRL program.
    • Hispanic children had a higher prevalence of tooth decay than white children.
Benefit of school-based sealant programs
  • Children can receive quality dental care, including sealants, at their local schools.
  • Programs generally target schools that have 50 percent or more of their students in FRL programs.
  • Without sealant programs, tooth decay may result in pain and other problems and lost school time that affect learning in school-age children.
  • Sealants can prevent approximately 60 percent of cavities.
Sealant providers
 
Regional oral health specialists
Community contacts for oral health education and promotion, and prevention of cavities
 
Please contact the following local public health agencies:
Other organizations
Dental insurance
Other states