By: School District 69
Published: March 3, 2014
From February 19 to 21, Smiles in Motion, a mobile dental unit with a mission to prevent tooth decay in children through partnerships with schools, served over 400 children across District 69’s 3 buildings. Through this unique collaboration, children in Kindergarten through 8th grade received free on-site cleanings, examinations, fluoride treatments, and tooth brushes. Additionally, parents received personalized dental reports outlining the results, as well as referral lists of local providers who can do follow-up care as needed. District 69’s school nurses led this effort, coordinating the process and mobilizing parent volunteers.
Through Lincoln Junior High’s Community School initiative, launched this school year with Y.O.U., Smiles in Motion expanded its delivery of services. They piloted a dental health curriculum with 6th-8th graders. Lessons were implemented during all students’ advisory periods, covering topics such as plaque build-up, cavity development, gum health, and the impact of fluoride treatments. Further, Smiles in Motion participated in Lincoln’s Community Resource Fair, sharing information in-person with parents.
Dental decay is the most common chronic infectious disease among children. Dental pain can have a profound effect on a child’s ability to learn. District 69 seeks to partner with community organizations to meet the holistic needs of children, including promoting health and wellness. Smiles in Motion Director Mark Goldman commented on partnering with District 69, saying “It was an excellent opportunity to promote oral health and provide preventative dental services. It was a privilege to work with such a well-organized school district.”