Currently, Harris County Public Health (HCPH) Dental Health and Prevention Services (DHP) provides assistance to over 316 schools located in 15 school districts outside of the Houston Independent School District (Houston ISD is within the health oversight of the City of Houston, Department of Health and Human Services).
Our Smile Saver Container Program is staffed by Dental Hygienists who work directly with school nurses to educate, inform and bring awareness to the importance of oral health. The activities of the program include: onsite nurse consultations, participation in school health fairs/parent meetings/career days, providing toothbrushes to the school, and promotion of schoolwide oral health education presentations. The program name developed from the actual “Smile Saver Containers” that we provide to the schools at no charge. These containers contain an oral health curriculum that may be used by the school to provide oral health education. In addition to the invaluable Smile Saver Containers, participating schools receive: toothbrushes, Tooth Saver Necklaces, and oral health education for the entire school done by HCPH Dental Hygienists.
HCPH Dental Health and Prevention Services works to promote and coordinate an effective array of dental prevention education activities at the schools. We believe that the keys to long term success are:
- Repetitive positive prevention messages to students
- Regular incentives for students to put preventive behaviors into practice,
- The involvement of strong role models (teachers, school nurses and local dental professionals), and
- Partnerships with parents who will help their children learn good oral health habits
Dental Education Videos