Dental Education in Wyoming Schools
thesisposted on 13.05.2019, 00:00 by Cally Collins
Dental caries is the leading chronic disease affecting the youth of America (Benjamin, 2010). Dental pain, low self-esteem and absence from school are a few consequences resulting from untreated caries in youth. A healthy mouth is fundamental for learning and overall quality of life. To help combat the trend of caries - education is essential. Due to funding, students in Wyoming are no longer benefitting from the in-school screenings and oral education sessions. It has been found that oral health education provided in schools improved oral health practices, as well as decreased cavities (Haque et al., 2016). Educating in schools will provide all students and parents with tools to prevent untreated caries. It was found that once parents understood the risks of untreated caries, they increased dental visits and decreased unhealthy practices (George et al., 2017). The goal of this project is to introduce the importance of healthy mouths and the causes of unhealthy mouths to parents and their children. Another component is addressing these issues educationally and parentally. Due to the decreased funding, volunteer dental professionals and schools will be contacted to start a program in Laramie. Then a pilot study will be conducted to collect local data considering what schools would benefit and are willing to allow this program to be incorporated. The long-term goal is to influence schools and other Wyoming dental professionals to volunteer their time to educate the Wyoming youth.