What is the Miles of Smiles-Laredo school-based sealant program?
Children participating in the Miles of Smiles-Laredo Program receives a limited oral evaluation to identify dental needs. All students receive an application of fluoride varnish after their dental screening. Students in second grade receive dental sealants. Every child receives a note from the dentist that will tell the parent if a dental problem is observed. If an oral health problem is identified (e.g. a cavity), the parent will be asked to schedule an appointment with a local dentist. For children who have urgent dental needs, the case managers will follow up with the parent and will help to find a local dentist if access to care is determined to be a barrier.
The Miles of Smiles-Laredo Program provides dental sealants to children at absolutely no cost to the children, parents, insurance, or schools. Such programs define a target population within a school district, verify unmet needs for sealants, and apply sealants in a school-based setting using sound dental public health practices. School-based prevention programs work directly in the schools, using portable dental equipment. Providing dental sealants in a school-based program is promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information on the CDC's school-based sealant program initiative, click here.