I would like to provide preventive oral health care in one or more of the elementary schools in my community. Where do I start?

It’s great that you want to provide services in your community.  If you don’t already have the information, you need to find out what is currently available, and who (if anybody) is providing oral health services.  If you think that there is an opportunity, take a look at the Smart Mouths Smart Kids business plan and calculator section to determine the feasibility of what you would like to do.  As you look closely at your community, it’s a good idea to begin to engage potential stakeholders and supporters so that you will be able to count on them as you move forward in implementing a school-linked oral health program.

What kind of equipment will I need and how do I get it?

Most people use portable dental equipment.  You will need a compressor, chair, slow speed drill and water source and evacuation.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a limited number of portable dental units that they will lend to providers of school-linked oral health services.  If you would like to purchase your own equipment, the most commonly used manufacturers for public health are:

The Smart Mouths Smart Kids Tookit provides access to a portable patient data system that can be run on a tablet, laptop or PC.  You will need to purchase the platform that you think will be most useful for your program.

The Smart Mouths Smart Kids business plan has a budget section that outlines consumable supplies such as office supplies (e.g., pens, paper, etc.), clinic supplies (e.g., gloves, cotton rolls, fluoride varnish, etc.)  that you may need to work with your program.

What about consent forms to send to parents, information about the program, and agreements with schools?

The Smart Mouths Smart Kids toolkit provides consent forms in both English and Spanish that have been thoroughly reviewed by legal counsel.  Program information is provided for parents in both English and Spanish.  A sample Memorandum of Understanding between the provider and the school has been developed and has been reviewed by legal counsel.  All forms and information that are provided for parents are written at the 5th grade level.

We already have an oral health program going in the schools in our area. Can I use the Smart Mouths Smart Kids forms and tools and adapt them to our existing program?

The forms and tools developed by Smart Mouths Smart Kids are intended to be used as “branded” documents.  Therefore, all materials must have the Smart Mouths Smart Kids logo, and documents that have been reviewed by legal counsel need to retain the original language.  However, programs may co-brand materials to show their own participation in a school-linked oral health program.  For example, a program might provide information such as, “Smart Mouths, Smart Kids, a preventive oral health program provided by [NAME OF ORGANIZATION]”.