By Gina Gurreri, Community Programs Development Supervisor
Back-to-school time is often a time to check up on your child’s needs. Do they need a new backpack or new shoes? Do they need a physical for sports or immunizations? Do they have the school supplies and books they’ll need for classes?
What about their oral health needs?
Tooth decay – commonly called cavities or dental caries – is one of the most common chronic diseases of children in the United States. Left untreated, tooth decay can cause pain, which can interfere with daily life. For children, this can mean decreased focus at school, missed school days due to pain, and missed classroom time to travel to appointments to treat tooth decay. As a parent, this translates to missing work time to get kids to dental appointments and weighing the cost of dental procedures. Oral health education and dental cleanings and screenings every 6 months are essential to tooth decay prevention.
Oral health and dental care are linked in many ways to a child’s overall health and well-being. Good dental care leads to a happier quality of life. Having strong teeth means kids get the nourishment they need from foods and having a healthy smile leads to high self-esteem.
This is where Skippy Dental comes in! As Tri-County Health Network’s mobile dental clinic, Skippy comes to where your child is to perform routine dental cleanings and screenings, just like when you go to a dental office. Skippy provides brushing and flossing instructions to your child, getting them excited about taking care of their own teeth. Skippy also uses state-of-the-art equipment to do a thorough exam and teeth cleaning and polishing. We do sealants to make sure your child’s teeth are protected from the bacteria that causes cavities. We use fluoride varnish on your child’s teeth to strengthen them. We use teledentistry practices to have a dentist fully examine your child’s oral health through x-rays and intraoral photos. Finally, Skippy can administer treatments like Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) and Interim Therapeutic Restoration (ITR) to stop cavities from growing.
Skippy does all of this at a site local to your child’s school, so the amount of classroom time kids miss is minimal. Parents don’t have to miss work to get kids to their dental appointments as everything is completed during the school day. Best of all – there’s no out-of-pocket cost to families!
We know school may look differently this year, and Skippy clinics may not be able to happen right in your child’s school. Skippy can schedule your child’s appointment at a location close to their school which will minimize travel time to appointments and still get kids the oral health care that they need. Skippy serves kids ages 0-18, providing age-appropriate oral health instruction and sending home a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and floss to every child so they can practice oral hygiene at home.
Check out your child’s back-to-school newsletter email from their school to see information on enrolling your child, or enroll your child for Skippy online in minutes! Go to this page to complete the enrollment form: https://tchnetwork.org/skippy/consent/ – English Language
https://tchnetwork.org/skippy/consent-es/ – Spanish Language
For more information on Skippy, see our website here: https://tchnetwork.org/skippy/ or call our office at: 970-708-7096 and ask about the Skippy program.