Association‌ of‌ State‌ &‌ Territorial‌ Dental‌ Directors
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Phone‌ 775-626-5008‌‌

Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

Bright Smiles for Bright Futures

Practice Number: 21001
Submitted By: Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals, Oral Health Program
Submission Date: May 2002
Last Reviewed: June 2011
Last Updated: June 2011
Best Practice Approach Example Bright Smiles for Bright Futures

The “Bright Smiles for Bright Futures” program was planned and implemented by the Louisiana Oral Health Program as a surveillance component for oral health.  The program was created by the Louisiana Oral Health Advisory Committee in response to state mandates under Medicaid’s Early Periodic, Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) program and to meet the reporting requirement of oral health indicators and needs assessment for the MCH Block Grant.  The first survey was conducted in 1997-1998, prior to the release of the ASTDD Basic Screening Surveys model.  The program provided oral health screenings to 3rd grade children to assess oral health status and treatment needs, made referrals for needed care, and followed up on whether care was received. 

School nurses were recruited as volunteer survey examiners to perform oral health screenings at the time of annual vision and hearing screenings at their assigned schools.  The school nurses were trained to use a standardized screening process and record the presence of untreated tooth decay, fillings, sealants, and a treatment urgency level for needed dental care.  The school nurses followed up with families of the children who needed dental care to evaluate treatment status. 

The survey will be repeated every five years.  As the survey is repeated every five years, surveillance data will be able to monitor the progress made for oral health in the state.

Lessons Learned:

Request for professional epidemiological help in order to conduct BSS with the representative population of third grade students.

Give enough time for the preparation of this survey.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Susan Jeansonne, Interim Director, Oral Health Program, Office of Public Health, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital, 628 N. 4th Street, P.O. Box 3214, Bin 4, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3214, Phone: 225-342-7973, Fax: 225-342-2256, Email: Susan.Jeansonne@LA.Gov