Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 02 Usatoothfairy Copy

School nurses tackle student oral health challenges with support from America’s ToothFairy

Feb. 25, 2015
America’s ToothFairy: National Children's Oral Health Foundation and National Association of School Nurses team up to educate the community and prevent childhood tooth decay.

For National Children’s Dental Health Month, America’s ToothFairy: National Children's Oral Health Foundation continues its role as a premier provider of engaging oral health activities and programming—this time, for school nurses.

In celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month and through the National Association of School Nurses network, school nurses can now access a customized website with parent/teacher handouts on oral health, information on the America’s ToothFairy Girl Scout/Boy Scout patch program, and tips for dental care referrals. It also contains links to information on school sealant programs, one of the most effective strategies for preventing childhood tooth decay.

Additionally, 250 school nurses will receive the ToothFairy 101 Community Education Kit. Developed with guidance from the America's ToothFairy Scientific Advisory Board, the ToothFairy 101 Community Education Kit is a comprehensive tool for improving oral health literacy through community outreach activities. The kit’s content covers nutrition, germ transmission and prevention, mouth safety, tobacco, and infant care, as well as basic preventive strategies. Nurses will use the kits directly with students or train teachers or other staff to use them in their classrooms. Together with brightly colored magnets, a giant toothbrush, and visually engaging materials, lessons resonate with younger and older students alike. With data gathered from this initial pilot project with 250 school nurses, the hope is to extend the availability of the kit to school nurses nationwide.

"As the leader in advocacy for student health and professional development of school nurses, National Association of School Nurses shares a common goal with America's ToothFairy – to promote oral and systemic health for all children," said NASN president Carolyn Duff, MS, RN, NCSN. "This collaboration with America’s ToothFairy is further expanding the ability of school nurses to protect and maintain children's health."

“Realizing the critical role of school nurses on school campuses across the country, we are pleased to provide nurses compelling, science-based educational resources and activities to help engage and instruct the students they care for every day," said Fern Ingber, America's ToothFairy president and CEO. "With their support, will we be able to keep the importance of children’s oral health at the forefront of school and government officials, while ensuring students can access the care and education they need for health, learning, and success.”