February is National Children's Dental Health Month

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The American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month every February to raise awareness on the importance of good oral hygiene. It is essential to teach children at an early age that brushing and flossing, along with regular dental visits, will keep their teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.

On February 6 and 7, the Curtis Student Health Center held dental screenings for all 10th graders in Curtis High School on Staten Island as part of the Children’s Aid Society’s No-Touch Dental Screening Program. Our dental hygienists performed a “no-touch" dental screening with the use of a penlight and tongue depressor to look into the students’ mouths for obvious dental problems and if necessary recommend a visit to the dentist. This screening was offered to students at no cost and without missing core academic course instruction. Not only do these screenings help discover dental issues that can be addressed at the Student Based Health Center, but allow for preventative measures such as sealants, before a problem develops.

Out of the 335 students screened at Curtis, 289 (86%) have one or more obvious dental problems. Of those screened, 85 (25%) do not have a dentist for primary dental care. A letter was provided to each student for their parent/guardian to address the issue with a private dentist or to schedule an appointment with an SBHC provider.

The Children's Aid Society's dental clinics are based in our community schools and centers and provide quality dental care to children in New York City's underserved neighborhoods. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention children and adolescents from lower-income families have more untreated tooth decay.

Children’s Aid Dental Services are designed to provide primary care such as:

  • Examinations
  • Restorative care (such as dental fillings)
  • Prophylaxis (dental cleaning)
  • Fluoride treatment and sealants
  • Referrals


Photo: A student at Curtis High School in Staten Island, receives a “no-touch" dental screening provided by The Children's Aid Society.