School and Adolescent Oral Health Committee
School and Adolescent Oral Health Programs
SAOH's programs promote, protect, and assure the oral health and well-being of school-aged children and adolescents. Through these programs, children and adolescents are encouraged to accept self-responsibility for their oral health, develop life-long healthy behaviors, and receive education, preventive care, treatment and other services.
School and adolescent oral health programs strive to:
(1) Assess the oral health needs of school-age children and adolescents;
(2) Develop policies to improve the oral health of children and adolescents and their families;
(3) Assure that children and adolescents are getting needed prevention and treatment services.
1. ASTDD White Papers
- Integrating Oral Health Education into Health Education Curricula in Schools (August 2013)
- Promoting Good Nutrition and Healthy Eating in Schools (January 2021)
- School Dental Sealant Programs (November 2017)
2. ASTDD Best Practice Approach Reports
- ASTDD Best Practices Approach Report: Improving Children's Oral Health through the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model (March 2017)
- ASTDD's Best Practices Approach Report: School-Based Dental Sealant Programs (updated October 2022)
- ASTDD, the CareQuest Institute, and the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) presented a webinar on the updated School-Based Dental Sealant Program Best Practice Approach Report. The expert panel shared insights from the report and offered practical guidance for building and improving a program to promote children's oral health. (February 2023) Link
3. School-Based Programs During COVID-19 Resources
School-Based Oral Health Programs (SBOHPs) provide a vital service to children who don't always have access to health care outside of school. The COVID-19 pandemic changed how school-based oral health (SBOH) programs deliver dental care for children. In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep children safe, schools went to virtual learning or modified schedules. This significantly impacted SBOH programs and the ability to gain access to children who have the highest need for oral health services and thus, required SBOH programs to reassess how they reach these children.
In June 2020, ASTDD disseminated a survey, supported by the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, to the oral health program directors in all U.S. states and territories to learn their plans for implementing SBOHPs during the 2020-2021 school year. In September 2020, ASTDD followed up on the June 2020 survey by interviewing the responding state and territorial dental directors to ask about challenges, lessons learned and resources that programs have developed in response to COVID-19. In March 2021, ASTDD fielded a second survey of the oral health directors in all U.S. states and territories to assess the continued impact of COVID-19 on school-based oral health programs. The following are materials, resources shared by states/territories, and webcasts based on the surveys and interviews.
Summary Report from June 2020 survey and September 2020 interviews
- Alternate Activities for School-based Programs
- Consent Forms
- Guidelines for Providing Services
2020 Research Brief and Infographic
A research brief and infographic based on the first survey and follow up interviews, developed by ASTDD and the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health found that this disruption had major implications for the oral health of children. Some key findings from the report:
- 84% of state/territorial directors said they were spending at least some time on pandemic-related support, including communication materials for executive orders, dental licensing board consultation, dental provider communication, and infection control guidance.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cited the crucial role of SBOHPs in reducing decay and helping children "stay healthy and ready to learn." The CDC has called these programs "especially important for reaching children from low-income families who are less likely to receive private dental care."
- 35% of directors said that most of their time was devoted to assisting with COVID-19 related activities.
While it's clear the pandemic has posed serious challenges for schools, parents and children, it also presented an opportunity for oral health programs to reassess priorities and develop contingency plans on how to continue providing these services to low-income children if a similar health crisis in the future disrupts SBOHPs. Visit the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health School Dental Programs Face stiff Challenges webpage for additional information.
2020 ASTDD/DQP/OSAP Webcast
On Dec 10, 2020 ASTDD, the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention hosted a webcast that explored how COVID-19 has significantly impacted school-based health care programs and the ability to provide access to children who have the greatest need for these services. Expert speakers included:
- Lori Cofano, RDH, BSDH, Dental Public Health Consultant, the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD)
- Vuong K Diep, MPH, Health Science Specialist, Analytics & Evaluation, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
- Shannon Mills, DDS, Oral Healthcare Consulting Services
Their PowerPoint slides are available here.
2021 ASTDD/CareQuest/National Association of School Nurses Webcast
In May 2021, ASTDD, CareQuest and the National Association of School Nurses hosted a webcast to present information from a second survey of state/territorial oral health programs that assessed the continued impact of COVID-19 on school-based oral health programs.
The PowerPoint slides are available here.
2021 Research Brief
This work was supported through a collaboration with the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health.
4. ASTDD School Sealant Program Tools
- This ASTDD developed PowerPoint presentation is designed to train and/or assist dental providers with standardizing the process of selecting teeth for sealant placement. The training includes a didactic presentation to assist with tooth selection criteria using clinical photographs for dental providers. Both the PowerPoint and pretest/post-test presentations are meant to be used for information dissemination and to show clinical examples of sound, cavitated, and non-cavitated lesions on tooth surfaces. (February 2020).
Dental Sealants Standardization Training Template
Pre/Post Test Quiz
ASTDD supports the integration of oral health into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model and has prepared the following resources:
5. Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Oral Health Toolkit
This toolkit contains resources to assist in integrating oral health into the WSCC model. The toolkit is useful for oral health programs, school nurses and other health professionals, teachers and school administrators, community health workers, parents and others who are interested in promoting oral health in the school-setting following a model that addresses the whole child and whose goal is to improve learning and health among school-age children. We value your input and appreciate your feedback on the WSCC Toolkit. Please send comments to email@example.com.
- WSCC Oral Health Fact Sheet
- WSCC Introductory PowerPoint
- WSCC PowerPoint Notes
- Capacity Building Tool: Recommendations for Integrating Oral Health into the WSCC Model
- Best Practice Report: Improving Children's Oral Health through the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model (March 2017)
6. Other WSCC Resources
- WSCC Overview (CDC)
- WSCC Fact Sheet (CDC)
- Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child: Expanding the Evidence Base: The CDC, ASCD, and numerous partners have published ten articles in the November 2015 special supplement of the Journal of School Health, the journal of the American School Health Association. The articles are free to download.
- Successfully Working with Schools To Improve Oral Health Consent Returns - ASTDD School and Adolescent Oral Health Committee webinar brings you the second of a three part series of webinars focused on ways to increase consent for school oral health services. The webinar features Nichole Bobo, director of nursing education, National Association of School Nurses and Kimberly Bartolomucci, program manager, The Oral Health Forum. The presentation addresses ways to partner with school nurses and school systems in promoting school positive consent for oral health services.
- Tools, Tips, and Strategies to Increase Consents in School Sealant Programs - This webinar hosted by ASTDD School and Adolescent Oral Health Committee featured Mary Pat Burgess, MBA, RDH program director, City of Chicago School-Based Oral Health Program and Matt Crespin, MPH, RDH associate director, Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin. These presenters shared their experiences with school sealant programs in Chicago and Wisconsin, their challenges to getting positive parental consents, useful strategies for tackling barriers, and innovative and tested tips and tools used to increase utilization.
SAOH Consent Presentation 5-15-2019 PowerPoint
SAOH Consent Presentation 5-15-2019 Crespin PowerPoint
8. School Oral Health Program Resources
- Mobile and Portable School-Based/School-Linked Oral Health Programs: Delivery Models to Expand Care for Children and Adolescents Issue Brief - This Issue Brief addresses a range of issues, such as workforce, funding, equipment, program planning, state regulations, teledentistry, and continuity of care, to consider when establishing oral health programs for preschool and school-age children. The Appendix includes a planning checklist for implementing a program and questions for planners prior to engaging with community partners. (August 2023)
- Considerations for School Nurses in Return to School: Dental Screenings
- School Nurses: The Key to Good Oral Health During COVID-19 Infographic
- The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) responds to the needs of professionals working in states and communities, with the goal of improving oral health services for pregnant women, infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special health care needs, and their families (the maternal and child health (MCH) population). OHRC serves the MCH population by supporting health professionals, program administrators, educators, and others working in or with MCH programs.
- Dental Sealants: A Resource Guide (5th ed.) - Dental sealants are highly effective in preventing tooth decay. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from cavities by covering them with a protective shield that blocks out germs and food. This guide from the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) at Georgetown University, features materials on policy, practice guidance, professional education and training, public education, and state and local programs to help promote the use of dental sealants. Three entries explore the implications of dental sealant placement during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes descriptions of organizations that can provide additional support. (June 2021)
- Be an Oral Health Champion: How School-Based Clinic Staff Can Help Students Achieve Good Oral Health
- Child and Adolescent Oral Health Issues
- Comprehensive Oral Health Services for Improving Children's and Adolescents' Oral Health Through School-Based Health Centers
- Integrating Sustainable Oral Health Services into Primary Care in School-Based Health Centers: A Framework
- Nutrition and Oral Health: A Resource Guide The guide includes a great selection of resources meant to assist health professionals and parents in promoting good eating and oral health practices to help prevent oral diseases in pregnant women, children, and adolescents. (2020)
- Oral Health and Learning: When Children's Oral Health Suffers, So Does Their Ability to Learn
- Pain and Suffering Shouldn't Be an Option: School-Based and School Linked Oral Health Services for Children and Adolescents
- Preventing Tooth Decay and Saving Teeth with Dental Sealants
- Promoting Oral Health in Schools: A Resource Guide
- Seal America: The Prevention Invention
- School Oral Health Services
- Colorado's School-based Oral Health Infographic - The Colorado Oral Health Unit created a one-page infographic for their program's newsletter to promote school-based oral health that includes school sealant information. Colorado Prevention Services Division. (October 2022)
- Missouri's Oral Health Guide for Caregivers of School-Aged Children - This booklet is designed to aid school nurses and others who work with school-aged children in the effective treatment of minor dental emergencies. Although first aid procedures should provide temporary relief, they cannot always solve the dental problem. Please consult with a dentist as soon as possible. (June 2022)
- Oregon's Oral Health Toolkit for School Based Health Centers (SBHCs) - This toolkit provides Oregon SBHCs with various kinds of resources aimed at: connecting clients with existing oral health services in their area, integrating oral health services into their SBHCs and schools as well as different types of publications around childhood/young adulthood oral health and oral health services in school settings. It was developed by the Oregon Oral Health Coalition's K-12 Committee, which is committed to increasing in-school access to oral health services, advance education outcomes, increase school attendance and improve the overall health and wellness for Oregon's K-12 population.
- School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA) - The School Oral Health Playbook guides individuals and communities to help improve oral health services and outcomes for the school-age population. It provides links to school oral health strategies, champions, models, resources, and programs. The Playbook meets you where you are and assists you on your journey to improve the oral health of school-age children. (2020)
- State Dental Screening Laws for Children: Examining the Trend and Impact (January 2019)
- CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH)
- CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health School Health Profiles
- CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
- The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
10. Other Resources
- National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA): School-Based Dental Programs
- National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA): HRSA UDS Sealant Measure FAQ