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School-Based Dental Sealant Program

Florida Department of Health in Broward County

Broward County third grader receives dental sealant treatment Sealy Image

 

The Florida Department of Health in Broward County (DOH-Broward) Sealing and Educating All Little Smiles (SEALS) program provides sealants and other preventive dental services to children in elementary and middle schools.  

The program began in 2016 where dental hygienists visited 52 Title 1 elementary schools and served over 10,000 students. The 2017-18 school year, SEALS visited 134 Title 1 elementary and middle schools in Broward County with over 33,000 children participating and more than 73,000 teeth were protected from cavities by sealants.  In the 2018-2019 school year, every Broward County public elementary, middle, and charter schools will be visited.

Who qualifies for the Broward Dental SEALS program?

  • All students in grades Pre-K through 8th at public elementary and middle schools in Broward County
  • Call Call your child’s school to see when dental services will be provided during the school year

Is the service free to my family?

Yes. DOH-Broward bills Medicaid dental insurance, if available.  Any services not covered by Medicaid are at no cost. If the child does not have Medicaid, DOH-Broward will pay for this service. You will never receive a bill from us.

What is dental sealant?

A sealant is a thin coating of plastic applied to the biting surface of molars to protect against cavity-causing bacteria. The treatment has been proven to be 86% effective in preventing tooth decay. It is colorless, tasteless, and non-toxic.

What services does the Broward Dental SEALS program provide to my child?

  • Dental assessment.
  • Dental Prophylaxis (teeth cleaning).
  • Dental sealants (if needed).
  • Fluoride treatment for cavity prevention.
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and flossers.
  • Dental education book.
  • If needed, referrals for follow-up care.

Will my child leave the school?

No, the program’s dental hygienists will set up portable dental equipment in the school during school hours.

Do I need an appointment?

No, Your child will bring home a consent form or you can print out and complete the consent form at the bottom of this page. The forms need to be signed by a parent/guardian and returned to your child’s teacher. You can contact your child’s school to find out which dates the program will be visiting during the school year.

Does the Broward Dental SEALS program replace a regular check-up by a dentist?

No. This program does not replace a complete dental check-up by a dentist. A letter is mailed home to each participant’s parent and/or legal guardian explaining the services received at the visit and a referral for follow-up care (if needed). If your child has a dentist, you will call your dentist’s office follow-up care. If your child does not have a dentist, please call DOH-Broward for an appointment at 954-467-4705.

How does the Broward Dental SEALS program work?

Portable dental equipment is brought to the school and set up in an assigned area. The dental hygienists provide an assessment to identify if any decayed teeth are present. They clean the teeth, place a dental sealant on all healthy permanent molars, and apply a fluoride varnish. They also provide each student with personalized oral hygiene instructions. The friendly environment encourages children to participate and the hygienists will never force any child to do anything they are unwilling to participate in.

When will the dental team arrive to my child’s school?

The program visits each school once per school year. The length of the visit is based on the total number of completed permission forms returned to the Broward Dental SEALS program. The average visit is 4-6 days. Contact your child’s school to find out when the dental services will be provided.

Do you treat children you have already treated in previous years?

Yes. When the dental hygienists see children treated in the past, the dental sealants that were previously placed is checked and they check for new cavities.

Will you treat children with allergies, medical conditions, or special needs?

Yes. Our teams of licensed dental hygienists are trained in many in many aspects of healthcare. They will be able to see any child whose medical history was reviewed and cleared by a Department of Health physician or dentist.

Can my child eat and drink after this visit?

Yes, the material we use allows for immediate eating and drinking. However, sticky or hard foods should be avoided as the sealant may come off or break.

What happens if you find cavities?

If a child has an area of possible tooth decay, we will alert the parent/legal guardian in the letter mailed home. If there is an urgent need such as an infection, pain, or swelling, the parent will be called immediately. A follow-up letter is mailed home to the parent of every child treated. Please write your address on the permission form so we can mail you this letter.

Why were some children not called out of class to receive dental services?

In order to participate, a child must turn in a permission form that was completely filled out and signed by their parent or legal guardian. If we did not receive their form, we cannot see your child. We also could have received a form that was not completely filled out, in which case we send a blank form and instructions back to your child’s teacher to return to you. If the new form is complete, we can see your child. Please fill out the entire form to ensure your child will be seen.

How do I get a permission form?

Each elementary and middle school has been given permission forms. Most schools are putting the consent forms in the First Day of School packets. If you did not receive a form, please ask the school’s front office or your child’s teacher to give you one. There is a link to the forms below. To make sure your child can be seen, fill out every line and don’t forget to sign the back of the form! After filling out the entire form, have your child turn it in to their teacher.

Questions or concerns?

Please call our Program at 954-467-4700 Ext. 5970.

Dental Sealant Documents