Dental caries (tooth decay) or cavities are caused by a breakdown of the tooth enamel. The bacteria on teeth break down foods and produces acid that destroys tooth enamel and results in tooth decay. According to the CDC dental caries remain the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 and adolescents aged 12-19. The foundation for healthy permanent teeth in children and teenagers begins during the first years of life. The development of caries in primary teeth increases the risk of developing cavities in permanent teeth. It is essential to establish a proper oral hygiene routine early in life to help ensure the development of healthy and strong teeth.
Students are given the opportunity to receive basic oral health services through the Fluoride Swish Program for grades 1-5 supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the ForysthKids program for grades 1-7. Students can sign up for both the Fluoride Mouth Rinse Program and the ForsythKids Program annually.
ForsythKids builds healthy communities by improving children’s dental health where they live and learn. The ForsythKids program works with schools and community partners to make certain it is easy for children and their families to get high quality dental care, which is critically important to their overall health and well-being. ForsythKids School Oral Health Program helps keep children healthy by bringing dental prevention right to their school.
ForsythKids Improves Health by Providing:
- A dental exam, which detects cavities twice a year
- Teeth cleanings twice a year
- Fluoride varnish to strengthen teeth
- Dental Sealants to prevent bacteria and food particles from getting caught in the grooves of teeth
- Guidance on how to take care of teeth
- Free toothbrushes and toothpastes
- Referrals to dentists for treatment of existing decay
If a child is covered by Mass Health or private dental insurance, ForsythKids will bill insurance for services but there is no co-pay, fee, or charge to families or schools. All children, including the uninsured, are eligible to participate. For those with ongoing or urgent dental needs, ForsythKids staff will work to connect children and their families to local dental clinics for comprehensive care. ForsythKids provides care that helps prevent cavities and gum disease especially for children who do not see a dentist every year. Children who see a dentist regularly may not need ForsythKids care at school. ForsythKids service do not replace a visit to you dental office.