Salem-Keizer Public Schools
Support Services Center
2575 Commercial St. SE
Salem, OR 97302
Director of Student Services
Local dental health professionals, community agencies and school personnel formed Dental Health Solutions for Children as a comprehensive school-based approach to dental health education, prevention and access to treatment. Our program improves the oral health of students through collaborative efforts emphasizing education, prevention services and access to care. It has received recognition and awards and is used as a program model for for other communities in Oregon.
Dental Health Education
Parent Education focuses on the importance of “baby teeth,” the role bacteria plays in dental disease, how nutrition affects teeth, and proper oral hygiene. Lessons are presented at Head Start parent meetings, teen parent programs, health fairs, housing shelters, and other venues.
Student Education offered to all 46 elementary schools focuses on proper home care and nutrition, and empowers students to outsmart cavity-causing bacteria.
School-Based Dental Screenings conducted by dental health professionals serve as a tool to help identify and prioritize students’ oral health needs. Result forms are sent home after the screening to notify parents of findings.
The oral health rating (1-4) is used for consistency throughout the District.
1 = no obvious cavities
2 = cavities
3 = obvious cavities
4 = urgent needs
Fluoride Varnish Project: Dental hygienists visit Head Start preschool sites to apply fluoride varnish to children’s teeth; minimizing the chances of dental decay.
Access To Treatment
Salem-Keizer students experiencing dental pain that effects their ability to eat, sleep and learn in school are provided free care by a network of local providers. In most cases, students are identified through school-based screenings.
Neighborhood Dentist Program ~ This safety-net program pairs each of 64 schools in the District with a local dentist who donates one urgent treatment appointment per month to low-income, uninsured students in acute pain.
Medical Teams International Mobile Unit ~ Dentist (and sometimes staff) volunteer for five hours at school-based clinic s, providing care to students in need.
Give Kids a Smile Clinics ~ Dentists offer services in their own offices to pre-screened students. School staff provides interpretation and transportation when needed, and parents are required to attend.
Boys & Girls Club Health and Dental Services Center~ Dental professionals volunteer at the Club’s dental clinic providing exams, treatment, cleanings and sealants to pre-screened Boys & Girls Club members.
The Children’s Program ~ The Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) and ODS created the Children’s Program in partnership with Willamette Dental, Kaiser Permanente and Oregon dentists to ensure that uninsured children in the state of Oregon have access to dental care. Referrals for students ages 5-15 are submitted by school staff for students who are experiencing dental pain.