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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

SEALs (School-Based Dental Program)

Practice Number: 24009
Submitted By: Massachusetts Department of Health Office of Oral Health
Submission Date: March 2016
Last Reviewed: March 2016
Last Updated: March 2016
Best Practice Approach Example -
 

The SEALs program in Massachusetts has been in service since 2007. We currently employ three full-time dental hygienists who provide dental services in several districts throughout the state.  Our primary focus is on communities with underserved and at risk populations and communities that are not currently fluoridating their water systems. Our team, through the Office of Oral Health, works to promote better oral health in the Commonwealth especially among children. We currently serve children in the towns of Quincy, Brockton, Pembroke, Springfield, Worcester, Holyoke, Blackstone, Millville, Northampton, Foxboro and Williamsburg. We continue to add new schools monthly and will be adding additional hygienists to help in the areas we currently serve. We are always looking for ways to improve our services and promote better oral health in the state. We continue to develop and foster relationships with our community stakeholders, work to improve oral health and promote community water fluoridation throughout the Commonwealth.   

Lessons Learned:

The SEALs program has learned many lessons over the years while implementing our program in different school districts. We have learned that having a community level connection is vital to a program’s success. We have also learned through experience that we need to work not only with the school nurses, principal and staff but also administration within the district to ensure they are aware of the program and its benefits to their students. Having great relationships that are open, transparent and being available has led to great success for the SEALs dental program in Massachusetts. Working together as a team between the main office in Boston and the team of hygienists in the field we have establish wonderful working relationships with many communities throughout the state. 

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Heather E. Benabbou, Fluoridation Coordinator/ SEALS Practice Manager, MDPH Office of Oral Health, 250 Washington Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02108, Phone: 617-624-5573, Fax: 617-624-6062, Email: Heather.Benabbou@state.ma.us

Brittany Brown, RDH, BSDH, Program Coordinator, MDPH Office of Oral Health, 250 Washington Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02108, Phone: 617-624-5943, Fax: 617-624-6062, Email: brittany.l.brown@state.ma.us

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