Cass Community Health Foundation sends tooth fairy to area schools

KANSAS CITY, Mo., (February 3, 2016) – Cass Community Health Foundation (CCHF) and the tooth fairy are celebrating National Children’s Dental Health Month by touring Cass County to improve the dental health of students in area schools.

CCHF and the Cass County Dental Clinic will partner with Missouri Oral Health Preventive Services, a program of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, to provide free dental screenings, oral health education, oral hygiene supplies and, with parental consent, two fluoride varnish applications to youth in pre-K through 12th grade.

“It is important to expose children to proper dental care and education as early as possible. These screenings allow us to reach a large number of students and encourage them to improve their oral health. Educating and serving the youth of Cass County is an important part of our mission,” said Cynthia Randazzo, CCHF president.

During the 2014-2015 school years, CCHF expanded the dental screening program to include nine school districts including Archie, Belton, Drexel, East Lynne, Grandview, Harrisonville, Midway, Raymore-Peculiar and Strasburg. The Adrian, Belton and Harrisonville Head Start Programs also participate.

More than 2,700 students were screened in those districts with more than 1,000 receiving preventive fluoride varnish treatments. Approximately 23 percent of children screened had untreated tooth decay. The Cass County Dental Clinic works with school nurses to ensure these students receive the dental services they need, including referrals to the clinic.

 “These screenings are important because they identify children who are not receiving proper dental care. We work to coordinate care for kids so that they have a healthy smile and are able to concentrate at school,” said Katie Schroeder, CCHF outreach coordinator and registered dental hygienist.

Schroeder organizes the program and will appear as the tooth fairy at some screenings.

“The tooth fairy will be used at the early childhood centers to help engage the students and excite them about keeping their teeth clean. At this age, kids without an older sibling may not know about the tooth fairy so it is a fun way to talk to them about the importance of taking care of their baby teeth.”

Call 816-276-4218 for more information about the CCHF dental screening program or to schedule a screening at an area school.