Oral health has a significant impact on a student's ability to achieve in school. Poor oral health results in absence from school, significant pain that makes it difficult for students to focus on schoolwork, sleep deprivation, interference with eating, speech difficulties, and slowed social development.
Many children and families struggle to access comprehensive and affordable dental care. Bringing oral health services to schools can be an efficient, cost-effective method to reach children and families that do not have a reliable and consistent source of care. Preschools and kindergarten through grade twelve schools are considering permitting oral health professionals to bring preventive and treatment services on-site. Dental services can be delivered in schools with stationary equipment, in a room in the school building using portable equipment, or in mobile vans that park at the schools.
The following resources were compiled to assist school districts considering contracting with a mobile/portable dental care provider to meet the oral health needs of their students.
Promoting Oral Health for California's Students
Policy brief from California School Boards Association (CSBA) explaining the role of school districts in promoting oral health among students.
Community Oral Health Resources
Information from the California Dental Association including guidance on mobile dental facilities for school administrators when entering into contracts with private dental vendors.
Integrating Oral Health into School Health Programs and Policies
Produced by the CSBA and the Dental Health Foundation, provides background information, policy development tools and other strategies for addressing students' oral health needs.
Mobile and Portable Dental Services in Preschool and School Settings: Complex Issues
Overview of the complex issues that confront communities and states around mobile and portable dental care provided in educational settings such as preschools, Head Starts, and kindergarten through twelfth grade schools.
School-Based Dental Services Guidelines For School Districts
Assists school districts when considering contracting with a mobile/portable dental care provider to meet the oral health needs of their students.
California Business and Professions Code (SB 562, 2013) Section 1657
Allows the Dental Board of California to regulate portable dental units to help ensure that patients who receive care by providers, using portable dental units at a community site, get comprehensive care, and are connected to a local dental provider if the provider using the portable dental unit cannot provide all the care a patient needs.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
For school districts to use and tailor to fit their specific needs.
Insurance Enrollment Information
Buying Children's Dental Coverage Through the Marketplace (PDF)
Parent's buying guide for children’s dental coverage in a state's health insurance market place.
Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment
Oral Health Assessment
Information related to California Education Code Section 49452.8, which requires public school students to have an oral health assessment no later than May 31 of their first year of school enrollment. Also includes sample parental notifications available in multiple languages.
Best Practice Approaches for State and Community Oral Health Programs
The Coordinated School Health Program (CDC researched-based model) is a planned, organized set of health-related programs, policies, and services coordinated to meet the health and safety needs of kindergarten through twelfth grade students at both the school district and individual school levels.
Mobile-Portable Dental Manual
Five chapters provide important questions, considerations, recommendations and evaluation strategies to help make decisions about programs using mobile vehicles, portable equipment, or a combination system.
Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention
Recommendations for safe delivery of oral care outside the dental office, including site analysis and infection control checklist.