SBHC & UTHSCSA Partner to Offer Dental Hygiene Education to area Elementary School
MHM has had a longstanding relationship with the Dental School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). In 2003, a partnership with the UTHSCSA Dental School and MHM provided school-based prevention programs to provide dental screenings, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants for second-graders in the Edgewood Independent School District. In 2003, this partnership brought about a comprehensive dental care plan to children at the Ricardo Salinas Clinic.
More recently, MHM’s School Based Health Centers and the UTHSCSA Dental School collectively worked together to bring about dental hygiene education to elementary students in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District.
This initiative, which started ten years ago through a grant provided by MHM to the UTHSC Division of Dental Hygiene, was created to establish a Pediatric Clinical Educational Training Rotation program for dental hygiene students. Through this initiative, dental hygiene students obtain training and instruction while providing direct care and education to school-aged children.
Working in close collaboration with MHM’s School Based Health Centers (SBHC) serving the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD, and as part of their program curriculum, UTHSCSA dental hygiene students provide Dental Hygiene presentations to prekindergarten and 1st grade students in the district. At the conclusion of the semester, approximately 800 elementary students will have participated in these dental education offerings.
To facilitate, the SBHC and dental hygiene students from the UTHSCSA created “Tooth Fairy Island” as a means to capture the attention of students in this critical area. Included in the Tooth Fairy Island curriculum are lessons on Preventing Germ Transmission, Tooth-friendly Snacks, and Tooth brushing Demonstration. Using a magnetic tooth board, large toothbrush, worksheets, and a little music, elementary students are educated on the importance of proper dental care. Dental hygiene student, Leslie Griffith sings to the tune of, “row, row, row your boat…brush, brush, brush your teeth, morning and at night, everywhere and all around so they’ll be clean and white!”
Another student reflects, “I love that the children get excited with visitors and are excited to see me teach them how to brush on my dinosaur with large teeth.”
To learn more about MHM’s SBHC, visit: www.mhm.org/sbhc.