Project Smile provides dental screening, dental education and makes arrangements for dental care for at-risk children in our community, including financial support.
Educational programs in the schools seek to improve dental health of children by providing toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss for classroom brushing and flossing and for regular use at home. Because of these programs students are less likely to miss school because of dental related illnesses and with better dental health they can learn pain-free.
The components of dental care services include:
- Each participating school is asked to make a daily commitment to a brushing and flossing routine to instill in students the importance of good dental hygiene at home. Our past experience shows that daily classroom brushing significantly reduces the percentage of cavities and on other dental problems that we detect during screenings.
- We ensure that parents are involved in their childrens dental hygiene by requiring parent consent for the services that Project Smile provides. Consent forms in both English and Spanish provide basic information regarding the student and parent names, current dentist, and dental insurance. The forms also include the results of dental screenings that are sent to the parents.
- We provide general dental health and hygiene instruction to the students on the same day that screenings are done in each school. This is done in cooperation with the Larimer County Health District, Colorado State University Pre-Dental students, and our volunteer dentists.
- Dental screening is made available to every student for free on a day specified by each participating school. This done annually and sometimes scheduled twice during the year to ensure we reach all students. Parent consent is required for the screening but they may elect not to participate. Dentists from the community do a visual examination that is recorded by a dental assistant. Students may receive a fluoride treatment if pre-approved by the parents. Results of the examination are then forwarded to the parents with recommendations for further care if needed.
- If follow-up treatment is recommended, Project Smile, in cooperation with local dentists and the Health District, will ensure that appointments are made once permission is received from parents.