Dental Screenings

Dental decay is the most common chronic disease among children currently, yet it can be prevented by good oral home care and regular dental visits. Clay County Public Health Center provides free dental screenings to children in attempts to raise awareness. Dental screenings will be conducted during the first half of the school year (August-December).

Current School Year Screening

During the 2017-18 academic school year we will be screening the majority of Clay County elementary and parochial schools. A registered dental hygienist will provide a non-invasive dental screening for each child. We do not provide a dental exam-this must be provided by a licensed dentist. The term screening “implies a less complete, less technical review” of the oral cavity (Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors, p. 2). We assess each oral cavity for areas of decay (e.g. early childhood cavities and baby bottle cavities), gum disease, malformations, sores, and to see if children are receiving dental care. Find information for a local Medicaid dental provider.

A parent consent form will be sent home with each child prior to the screening date. If a signed consent is brought back to the school, that child will receive two fluoride varnish applications within the school year. The first application will take place in the fall, during a dental screening and the second in the spring during dental education. All children will receive home care tools (toothbrush and toothpaste) and educational materials. 

Program Progress

Since the start of our dental screening program we have seen a declination of cavity incidence with elementary children screenings from 1955 (70%) to 2015 (9.2%) If your child’s school schedules a screening and you do not want your child screened a note must be sent with the child a few days before or the day of the screening. If you have any questions or concerns please call the Community and School-Based Dental Program at 816-595-4241.