Mānoa: HDS Foundation grant serves more children with school-based tooth sealing program

University of Hawaii at Manoa’Contact:


A student receiving care from a dental practice.
A student receiving care from a dental practice.
A student receiving care from a dental practice.
Hawai'i Keiki-HDS Dental Sealant Program team at Waialua Elementary School.
Hawai’i Keiki-HDS Dental Sealant Program team at Waialua Elementary School.

Hawaii Dental Service (HDS) Foundation has provided a grant of $133,447 to continue a public school dental kit program that screened more than 650 children in the past school year, two-thirds of whom received free dental care. got a kitten. The Hawai’i Keiki-HDS Dental Sealant Program was developed in 2019 to coordinate dental screenings and provide on-site dental sealants at much-needed Title I public elementary schools. Toothpastes help prevent cavities on permanent teeth and the application of sealants is quick, non-invasive and painless. Sealants are routinely applied by a dentist to keiki around the second or third degree.

Hawai’i Keiki: Healthy & Ready to Learn is a collaboration between the University of Hawai’i at the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing (NAWSON) of Mānoa and the Hawai’i State Department of Education (HIDOE). The mission of the Hawai’i Keiki Program is to keep keiki healthy and ready to learn by providing access to school nursing in Hawaii’s public schools.

The Hawai’i Keiki-HDS Dental Sealant Program provides free oral health assessments and dental sealants and brings licensed dentists and dental hygienists to the school to minimize student time away from class. Families of participating students receive assessment reports, referrals, and oral care kits, and students requiring urgent dental care receive referrals to community dental providers. With the support of HDS Foundation, Hawai’i Keiki school nurses, dentists and dental hygienists improve students’ oral and overall health. The program will screen more HIDOE students this new school year.

“The schools and parents love this program because we provide safe and effective sealants to prevent future cavities,” said Deborah Matthew, the Hawai’i Keiki-HDS Dental Sealant Program Director. “In addition to sealing teeth, we screen students for urgent dental conditions and refer them to give them immediate care. It’s hard to learn when you have sore teeth. We also teach the kids the importance of daily brushing and to floss.”

“HDS is proud to support this important sealing program to protect the oral health of HIDOE students,” said Dr. Diane Paloma, president and CEO of Hawaii Dental Service. “By increasing access to dental care in schools, families can now develop good oral health habits to ensure their children have a healthy smile for a lifetime.”

In the past school year, the program screened 653 public school students at 28 schools in O’ahu, Maui, and Kaua’i, with 430 students, or about 66%, receiving dental kit. In addition, the screenings identified 31 children who needed urgent dental care.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with the HDS Foundation to collectively improve oral and overall health across the state,” said Clementine Ceria Cloud, interim dean at NAWSON. “Our Hawai’i Keiki program is uniquely positioned to provide direct services to public school students.”

Children in Hawaii have one of the highest rates of tooth decay (cavities) in the nation, with 71% of Hawaii’s third-graders experiencing tooth decay, according to a 2015 Department of Health report. The report found that 7% require emergency dental care. needed care, compared to the national rate of 1%. Also, more than 60% of third-graders in Hawaii did not have permanent molars. The Hawai’i Keiki-HDS Dental Sealant Program is proactively working to increase the number of children receiving dental sealants.

“We are grateful for the important role HDS Foundation plays as a community partner for UH Mānoa NAWSON, Hawai’i Keiki and the Hawai’i Department of Education,” said Tim Dolan, University of Hawai’i Vice President of Progress and CEO of the University of Hawai’i Foundation. “Mahalo to HDS Foundation for supporting this critical preventive service for Hawai’i’s keiki.”

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University of Hawaii Foundation

A non-profit organization raises private funds to support the University of Hawai’i System. The mission of the University of Hawai’i Foundation is to unite the passions of donors with the aspirations of the University of Hawai’i by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments that benefit UH, the people of Hawai ‘i and our future generations. www.uhfoundation.org

Hawaii Dental Service Foundation

The Hawaii Dental Service Foundation was established in 1986 by Hawaii Dental Service to improve oral health in Hawaii. The Foundation’s oral health initiatives include programs such as Seal Away Decay, Dentist by One, and Kupuna Smiles. In 2018, the Foundation established the Hawaii Dental Service Community Scholarship Program to support Hawaii students pursuing careers in dentistry or oral hygiene. The Foundation also awards grants to local nonprofit organizations for programs and projects that provide oral health education, prevent oral disease, and improve access to dental care for underserved populations. Visit the Hawaii Dental Service Foundation website at www.HDSFoundation.gives.

Hawaii Kids

Hawai’i Keiki is a partnership between the UH Mānoa Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing and the Hawai’i Department of Education and sits at the intersection of education and health to support the DOE in achieving success for students, schools and systems. The program is designed to improve access to and quality of health services in the school by coordinating and expanding existing partners’ efforts and community resources. The program improves and builds school-based health services that screen for treatable health conditions; referral to primary health care and patient-centered home medical services; preventing and controlling communicable diseases and other health problems; and the provision of emergency care in the event of illness or injury. Visit us at www.nursing.hawaii.edu/hawaii-keiki.

UH Manoa Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing

The nursing capital of the Pacific, the UH Mānoa Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing is the leader in nursing education and research in Hawai’i with a reach to Asia and the Pacific Basin. We provide an innovative, caring and multicultural environment in which educators, students and staff work together to generate and transfer knowledge, wisdom and values ​​to advance the quality of life and health for current and future generations. The school offers the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. To reflect Hawaii’s unique cultural diversity and heritage, we are committed to increasing representation of Native Hawaiian and other disadvantaged people in all nursing programs. Visit us at www.nursing.hawaii.edu.

For more information, visit: https://nursing.hawaii.edu/hawaii-keiki/dental-sealant-program/

Mānoa: HDS Foundation grant serves more children with school-based tooth sealing program

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