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Helping Instill Good Oral Health Habits in South Dakota Students

Delta Dental’s mobile program is working with two schools in a unique long-term partnership to demonstrate the impact of regular oral health care.

More than 350 students in Oglala and Wakpala are participating in the project that provides oral health supplies, education and clinical care to kids from Early Head Start through 8th grade.

Delta Dental of South Dakota

School staff at all levels are providing extraordinary support to encourage and facilitate participation by as many students as possible. The goal is to reduce tooth decay and prevent the pain and resulting problems children suffer because of it – including trouble concentrating in class or missing school.

The effort includes coordinated efforts between Delta Dental hygienists who provide regular screenings and preventive care clinics and two visits to the schools each year by the company’s mobile dental trucks to provide restorative care.

Oral health education is also a key component and is provided in classroom settings, one-on-one with children and families, and even integrated into daily school routines.

Delta Dental of South Dakota

For example, students at the Loneman School in Oglala are now brushing at school in the morning and afternoon thanks to the support of Principal Alicia Stolley, and Kellee Goodner, Dean of Students. And 6th grade teacher Jaime Hoek even used disclosing tabs in class to illustrate the effect of brushing.

The project began in October, 2015 and will continue for at least three years. The initiatives and outcomes are being documented to measure results to improve children’s oral health in underserved areas.