As we celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month coming in February, we are thrilled to unveil the details of our annual Polk County Sealant Project 2024 – a pivotal initiative in our ongoing commitment to promoting oral health among Mena’s youth.
The Polk County Sealant Project: A Community Health Initiative
Since its inception, the Polk County Sealant Project has stood as a beacon of preventive dental care in Mena. In collaboration with the University of Arkansas Fort Smith Hygiene School, this program aims to provide essential dental care to students in the Mena School District, Ouachita River School District, and the Cossatot River School District.
Why Dental Sealants Matter
Dental sealants, a proven preventive measure in dentistry since the 1960s, are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Extensive studies conducted by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and others have demonstrated their efficacy and safety.
These invisible shields act as a barrier, blocking up to 80% of cavity-causing germs and food particles from the pits and grooves of the back teeth. This preventative measure not only safeguards children’s dental health but also contributes to significant long-term savings by averting future dental procedures.
National Children’s Dental Health Month Celebration
February, designated as National Children’s Dental Health Month, serves as a fitting backdrop for our Polk County Sealant Project. This month-long celebration underscores the importance of instilling good oral health habits in children and raises awareness about the significance of preventive dental care.
How to Participate in the Polk County Sealant Project 2024
This year’s project is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, February 15th, and Thursday, February 22nd. However, please note that dates are subject to change based on demand. The tentative schedule designates specific schools for each day:
- February 15th: Wickes, Oden, Umpire, Van Cove, Acorn
- February 22nd: Louise Durham, Holly Harshman, and Mena Middle School
To participate, parents and guardians are requested to complete the student/patient registration form, which will be sent home with students and needs to be returned by January 25, 2024. This form is crucial for your child’s screening and the application of sealants/fluoride at the Healthy Connections Mena clinic at 136 Health Park Lane.
Don’t Live in Polk County? No Problem!
If you reside outside Polk County, your child can still benefit from dental sealants at either our Mena or Hot Springs clinics. Simply call us at 888-710-8220, and we can work out the details. Appointments are available at your convenience, not limited to the specified project dates.
Comprehensive Dental Services at Healthy Connections
Beyond the Polk County Sealant Project, Healthy Connections extends its commitment to oral health through a range of dental services for all ages. With locations in Mena and Hot Springs, our dental programs cater to the diverse needs of our communities.
Fluoride Varnish Application
In addition to dental sealants, our program includes the application of fluoride varnish, a dental treatment designed to prevent tooth decay. This treatment is applied on the top and sides of teeth with a small brush, hardening upon contact with saliva.
Preventing Tooth Decay: More Than Just Sealants
While dental sealants are a powerful tool in preventing tooth decay, there are additional measures to consider. Alongside using fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water, maintaining a healthy diet and seeing your dentist regularly are effective ways to protect teeth from decay. Selecting a toothpaste containing fluoride and consulting with your dentist or pediatrician about water fluoridation are essential steps in maintaining your child’s dental health.
Join Us in Building a Healthier Polk County Together
We encourage you to share this information within your network, using #HealthySmilesMena on social media. For any inquiries or further information about our dental programs, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for joining us in this important community health initiative. At Healthy Connections, we believe in building a healthier Arkansas– one smile at a time.