Cass County Democrat Missourian

Nearly 5,000 kids screened for dental problems in Cass

Students at Grace Early Childhood Center in Belton open wide as they learn about the importance of oral hygiene during a free dental screening conducted by the Cass Community Health Foundation.
Students at Grace Early Childhood Center in Belton open wide as they learn about the importance of oral hygiene during a free dental screening conducted by the Cass Community Health Foundation. Courtesy photo

The Cass Community Health Foundation believes healthy teeth help kids thrive.

The foundation has finished its annual dental screening program, serving 4,885 students in Cass County and Grandview schools.

The foundation provided the free screenings for students in 10 of Cass County school districts, as well as the Grandview district and the Belton and Harrisonville Head Start programs.

Among those screened, 23 percent were found to be in need of dental care. The health foundation and the Cass County Dental Clinic are working with school nurses to make sure those students receive the dental services they need, including referrals to the clinic for underserved children and teens.

Half the screenings are scheduled for the fall, and the remainder are typically completed in February during National Children’s Dental Health Month. This year’s harsh winter pushed the completion into March, however, because eight screenings had to be rescheduled.

“Despite icy roads, school cancellations and hours of reorganizing volunteers, our screening program helped more children than ever,” said Katie Schroeder, outreach coordinator for the Cass Community Health Foundation.

The screenings also included oral health education, dental hygiene supplies and two free fluoride varnish treatments for children with parental consent. Just over 60 percent of students received fluoride varnish applications during this academic year.

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