The most effective way to get students the dental care they need is to inform parents about the program and keep the lines of communication open!
Here are some best practices used by schools across New York:
- Automated calls/robo calls
One of the best ways to reach parents is through automated calls. Below is a sample script.
Hi! I’m calling from <INSERT SCHOOL NAME> with important news about your child’s health! Our school has partnered with Smile New York Outreach, a dental care program that lets your child be seen by a dental professional while at school.
This easy and convenient program provides in-school dental care to help keep your child healthy. You will be asked to provide your Medicaid or private insurance information, which covers all costs. For those without insurance, the in-school dentist will see your child at no cost to you.
Just complete and sign the permission form and return it to the school with your child. If you have not received a permission form, please contact the school today and request that one to be sent home with your child.
- Back-to-school/registration packet
Including a permission form for the in-school dental program in your back-to-school packets is a great way to inform parents and get permission forms signed and returned early.
And don’t forget about Kindergarten Round-Up when you can include the permission form in each student’s enrollment packet.
- In-school banners and art projects
The banners we provide with your permission forms are a colorful and fun way to inform and remind students and parents that the dentist is coming to school! Post them in prominent places where students and visiting parents can see them.
BRIGHT IDEA – Engage students by having them decorate a special spot in the school with art about taking care of their teeth. Don’t forget to send us a photo so we can share your students’ creativity!
- PTO/PTA assistance
Enlist the support of your school’s PTO/PTA in getting the word out to parents. They often have meetings and other events where leaders can remind parents that the in-school dentist is coming to school and that permission forms are required.
If your PTO/PTA is especially helpful, please be sure and let us know and we will send them a thank-you gift!
- In-school announcements
Using your school’s PA system to announce that the dentist is coming to school is a great way to remind students about the program. The best times to make announcements are:
- On form distribution day – Remind students to take forms home and have their parents complete, sign and return them.
- One week AFTER distribution day – Remind students to return the permission forms to their teachers and remind teachers to return them to you.
- The day of dental visit – Ask students to check their backpacks and lockers and teachers to check their desks for permission forms. EVEN STUDENTS RETURNING A PERMISSION FORM THAT DAY CAN BE SEEN BY THE IN-SCHOOL DENTIST!
- Parent letter, email or newsletter
The sample copy below can be used as a mailed letter to parents, as an email or in your school newsletter to encourage participation in the in-school dental program.
Dear parent or guardian,
Good news! In partnership with Smile New York Outreach, we are offering in-school dental care. If your child does not receive regular dental care or getting to the dentist is a burden, the in-school dentist is coming to help!
No Cost to You
You will be asked to provide your Medicaid or private insurance information, which covers all costs. For those without insurance, Smile New York Outreach will see your child at no cost to you.
Convenient and comfortable
Our in-school dental program saves you time and provides a safe and comfortable place for your child to receive gentle dental care from licensed local professionals. Our program provides a complete dental exam, X-rays, cleaning, fluoride, sealants when necessary, and in some cases, restorative care such as fillings.
Dental care for a healthy life
Children who see a dentist regularly may have fewer health issues like:
- Early tooth loss due to dental decay
- Gum disease
- Heart disease
- Impaired speech development
Help keep your child healthy, in school and smiling bright!
Complete the permission form and return it to the school TODAY.