We provide school clinics in pre-schools and elementary schools with two different delivery models.
We aim to empower pre-schoolers to build healthy dental habits while they still have their baby teeth and to help educate parents on good oral health care for their kids. Smile Partners also helps low-income families meet the dental screening and care requirements so their children qualify for federal programs like Head Start or ECAEP.
Smile Partners Pre-K program fulfills the state and federal Pre-K dental screening requirements and reaches children in schools with early intervention and prevention. Our services are provided at NO COST to the schools or families.
During our visits, children whose parent's consent are provided with:
- Oral hygiene instruction
- Dental screenings
- Fluoride treatments
- Dentist referrals
- Personal oral care goodie bag
Our dental hygienists visit each school up to two times a year, working with individual schools to find the most convenient clinic dates and times for visits.
Children who require follow up treatment with a dentist are referred to providers located near the school who have been screened to accept Provider One dental insurance. Our goal is to have every child belong to a dental home.
Our pre-school program serves schools in Snohomish, King and Kitsap counties. Its supporters include the Murdock Trust and the Tulalip Tribe.
Our elementary School Program has been growing rapidly. In King County, we serve the districts of Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Tukwila and one school in Seattle.
- Our first objective is identify urgent needs. A licensed dentist or registered dental hygienist (RDH) screens each child for visible decay and urgent dental issues. Any we find are immediately referred to the school nurse so that parents can be contacted and follow-up care from a local dentist can be scheduled.
- Our second objective is to reduce decay by providing cavity prevention cleanings, sealants and fluoride varnishes. This strategy has proven to be effective at reducing cavities by more than 85%. Each child we serve goes home with a goodie bag filled with oral care items and an oral health report card with information for their parents.
- Our third objective is to reduce the number of students who return the next year with the same untreated decay that was noted in the previous year. In its existing schools, Smile Partners has cut the "visible decay" rate in half from 32% to 16% during the past five years.