What is I-Smile @ School?

Group of kids with thumbs upHealthy teeth make it possible to learn.   

I-Smile @ School provides dental screenings, dental sealants, fluoride varnish, and oral health education for elementary and middle school students. For school aged children, 80-90 percent of tooth decay, or cavities, occur on the chewing surfaces of the molar (back) teeth. Placing dental sealants on these teeth greatly lowers the chance that those teeth will get tooth decay.

Nineteen organizations in Iowa – either county health departments or private, non-profit groups – administer I-Smile @ School locally through contracts with the Iowa Department of Public Health. Participating schools are selected by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

This dental program takes place during the school day, but students miss very little class time. By providing dental services in a school setting, we are better able to reach children with important preventive care. In the end, they will experience fewer cavities, which helps them concentrate on learning instead of mouth pain.

What People Say About I-Smile
  • "Give Kids a Smile Day {organized by our I-Smile Coordinator} is a gift not only to the kids but to the schools. For many kids this is a rare, perhaps the only, opportunity to have oral health needs attended to. When oral health is addressed, kids' health improves, they have a better outlook towards themselves and they approach life more positively. School attendance improves. Students are more engaged in the classroom with their teachers and peers and learning increases. Ultimately, kids end up with a better shot at life due to a not so simple gift that many of us take for granted."

    School Administrator - Western Iowa
  • "As a school nurse, I am impressed with the assistance provided by the I-Smile program. The assistance this program provides in helping families find a dental home, the way they can provide dental screenings, has been a tremendous benefit to those within our community. The benefits far exceed any of the costs involved with the program, particularly in a community like ours where the water is not fluoridated. Since the complications of untreated dental issues are well established, it is imperative that we have the assistance of the I-Smile program to promote the health and well-being of Iowa's children."

    School Nurse - Eastern Iowa
  • "Thank you for providing this service {school sealant program} to our students! I really appreciate it!"

    Parent- Southern Iowa

Did You Know?

Students lose 51 million hours of school each year because of dental problems.