Free dental exams and sealants for keiki offered through public schools
February is National Children's Dental Health Month and a local partnership is giving keiki, and their parents, something to smile about.
The Hawaiʻi Keiki - Hawaiʻi Dental Service Dental Sealant program will continue its ongoing effort to give public school students in the state free oral health exams.
Their initiative started in 2019 and has helped over 2,000 public school keiki already.
Hawaiʻi Keiki reported that more than 60% of students on the islands don't have dental sealants. Dental sealants are placed on grooves of the tops of teeth to prevent bacteria buildup that typically causes cavities.
Licensed dentists and hygienists will visit the schools to apply the sealants, which they say only takes a couple of minutes.
Since its launch less than four years ago, the program has conducted more than 1,800 exams for second and third-graders and applied nearly 4,000 dental sealants.
“It's not unusual for keiki to miss school due to dental pain, which not only limits their ability to eat and speak, but also reduces their overall quality of life," said Deborah Mattheus, Hawai‘i Keiki - HDS Dental Sealant program director in a press release.
The program is a partnership with HDS, the Department of Education and the University of Hawaiʻi.
For more information on the program, click here.