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Importance of Intergrating Health Programs in Public Schools

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Dental Screening
Billy, a second grader, has missed several days of school. At the beginning of the year he was very attentive and one of the first children to turn in his school work. Now when he is at school, he cannot focus on his schoolwork or what the teacher is trying to teach the class. The teacher has noticed that Billy has been holding and rubbing the side of his face lately and occasionally it looks as if he is tearing up. When she asks him what is wrong, he says that his face hurts a little but he’s fine. A few days later, the teacher notices that the side of Billy’s face is slightly swollen and he seems to be in more pain. His teacher sends him to the school nurse. What could the school have done prior to this to help prevent Billy from experiencing mouth and tooth pain?
Dental cavities are the most common chronic childhood disease (Mathu-Muju 7). Most of the dental cavities are found on the teeth’s chewing surfaces in school-aged children. The American Journal of Public Health reported in 2013 that 58.6 percent of 5 through 17 year olds had or has at least one dental cavity (Mathu-Muju 9). This percent makes dental problems the most unmet health need of school-aged children. The American Journal of Public Health reports in 2011 that 41percent of 2 through 11 year olds have dental cavities in their primary or baby teeth and 42 percent of 6 through 19 year olds have dental cavities in their permanent teeth (Mathu-Muju 7). According to the Journal of Dental Hygiene, a study held in Massachusetts in 2007 concluded that 40 percent of third graders had at least once in their lives suffered some form of dental disease (Devlin and Henshaw 212). Out of that 40 percent of third graders, 17 percent of these children have not b...

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Mathu-Muju, Kavita R., Jay W. Friedman, and David A. Nash. "Oral Health Care for Children in Countries Using Dental Therapists in Public, School-Based Programs, Contrasted With That of the United States." American Journal of Public Health 103.9 (2013): e7-e13. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.
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