In collaboration with the Student Alliance Council (SAC) and the Louisiana Oral Health Coalition, Well-Ahead hosted a poster contest at the end of the 2017/2018 school year. This contest aimed to increase awareness of oral health in East Baton Rouge public schools. Broadmoor High, Scotlandville Magnet High, and Woodlawn High participated in the contest. The student that created the most effective oral health poster was awarded with a paid trip to the School-Based Health Alliance Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Louisiana Oral Health Coalition had the honor of voting for and naming the winning students. Congratulations to Woodlawn High School! It's "Be Smoke-Free" poster submission effectively demonstrated the negative impact of smoking on oral health. In June, two Woodlawn High student representatives, Melissa Castilo and Jada Paulin, attended the School-Based Health Alliance Conference in Indianapolis for a formal poster presentation.
Did you know?
- According the 2016 Surgeon General’s Report, 90% of smokers start using tobacco regularly by the time they are 18 years of age. Three million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2015.
- In Louisiana, 13.2% of middle school students and 27.6% of high school students use tobacco. (2015 YRBS)
Moving Louisiana's Health Forward
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can join the Louisiana Oral Health Coalition!
February is a month full of celebration – Mardi Gras, the Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, and more! February is also Children’s Dental Health Month, uniting thousands of oral health champions to spotlight the benefits of a healthy smile.
Give Kids a Smile is a February American Dental Association campaign that encourages dental professionals, healthcare providers and educators throughout the country to provide oral health services and education to underserved children at no charge.
Well-Ahead Louisiana has partnered with Eat, Move, Grow to Give Kids a Smile by providing dental sealant clinics in low socioeconomic schools in 24 parishes in Louisiana. Providing sealants and applying fluoride varnish are the two top preventive measures used to protect teeth against cavities!
In addition, Well-Ahead Louisiana is working with the East Baton Rouge Student Alliance Council to host an oral health poster project during February. Students at nine schools are designing posters that will be posted throughout campuses to educate students on the importance of oral care.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to Louisiana's 2009 oral health screening survey, 65.7% of third grade students had tooth decay and 41.9% had untreated cavities.
Three parishes in Louisiana have 0 dentists: Red River, Cameron and Tensas!
Activities that promote Children’s Dental Health Month help to move Louisiana’s health forward. Are you interested in volunteering for a Give Kids a Smile activity? Email email@example.com or click here to learn how you can partner with us! Together, we can increase access to preventative dental care among our youth.
Pediatricians are the first line of defense against illness and disease in children. When medical providers become Smiles for Life certified to apply fluoride varnish, they can keep their patients’ smiles healthy too! Fluoride varnish is a gel substance that is applied directly to the teeth. It takes less than two minutes to apply and dries almost instantly. From a very early age, fluoride varnish provides the most effective protection against tooth decay for children.
Applying fluoride varnish during routine well visits is becoming a standard of care in pediatrics nationwide. Recently, our team’s Provider Education Network hosted a webinar that provided valuable information on fluoride varnish application. This webinar was led by a panel of medical and dental providers of the Louisiana Oral Health Coalition. Panelists provided guidance on becoming Smiles for Life certified and Medicaid reimbursement. To further promote fluoride varnish application, our team partnered with Medicaid. Promotional materials were distributed to medical professionals via Medicaid e-blasts and direct outreach.
In addition, Well-Ahead partnered with WIC (Women, Infants and Children) to promote fluoride varnish application to mothers. Our team created and distributed a direct mailer to mothers enrolled in WIC services in Winn Parish. This mailer highlighted the ease, importance and safety of fluoride varnish application. Our team team also created a short video that reinforces the mailer's message. This video currently being shown in WIC waiting rooms across the state.
A healthy child is a happy child. When medical providers incorporate preventive dental services at routine well visits, their smiles can be healthy, too!
DID YOU KNOW?
Tooth decay is the most common preventable childhood disease. In children ages 6 to 11 years old, it is five times more common than asthma and four times more common than obesity.
MOVING LOUISIANA’S HEALTH FORWARD
A lifetime Smiles for Life certification is available online and takes only about an hour to complete. The certification is free and continuing education units are given at the end. Become Smiles for Life certified today by following the simple steps below!
- Visit the Smiles for Life website www.smilesforlifeoralhealth.org and review the training module: Course No. 6: Caries Risk assessment, Fluoride Varnish& Counseling.
- Complete and pass the exam. Receive continuing education credits.
- Maintain a copy of the successfully completed post assessment certificate employee records.
The Well-Ahead Healthy Smiles team is preparing to continue our Bright Smiles for Bright Futures Oral Health Screening Project this Fall. This project provides a basic, non-invasive oral health screening to third grade students at eligible schools. This means that a licensed dental hygienist screens students for dental sealants, tooth decay, and cavities, and then makes appropriate dental recommendations. This project has provided oral health screenings for 902 students since it started last Fall.
Dental health is often a child's top unmet health need. This type of open-mouth survey is used nationwide for consistency in obtaining oral health data. Bright Smiles for Bright Futures helps our team collect data in hopes of securing funding for future oral health programming for Louisiana students. In 2009, this project uncovered that a startling 42% of Louisiana third graders had untreated tooth decay, 66% had an untreated cavity, and 43% needed to be referred to a dentist for further treatment. Click here to learn more.
Bright Smiles for Bright Futures has received great feedback in regards to its screening process, oral health education and dental resources. Additionally, this project has provided an opportunity to educate schools on the the importance of evidence-based oral health prevention strategies like school-based dental sealant clinics and fluoride varnish applications. Several principals have become especially interested in dental sealant clinics!
In the upcoming school year, we hope to conduct an additional 1,100 oral health screenings statewide. After the data is analyzed, an inclusive report will be released.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Louisiana currently scores a “D” in overall youth oral health interventions
- Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years old.
MOVING LOUISIANA’S HEALTH FORWARD
The Well-Ahead Healthy Smiles team promotes oral health through education and expanded access to preventative dental services. Are you a school staff member that is passionate about oral health? Give your students the opportunity for a healthy smile – email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.