What if we could make going to the dentist as easy as going to school? At The Forsyth Institute, we asked ourselves just that.
For too many children,
high-quality dental care is
as hard to access as it was
when the Forsyth Dental Infirmary for Children opened its doors in 1914.
Today, Forsyth continues to care for individual children, while developing
community models that can ultimately improve the oral health of entire
ForsythKids works by going where the children are—in schools, and in
some cases community centers and summer camps. It began in 2003
as a pilot program in Boston, Hyannis and Lynn, three communities
with a shortage of dental professionals or other issues of
access to care. Today, ForsythKids provides care to thousands of children
throughout eastern Massachusetts.
How it Works
The ForsythKids staff of specialized dentists, licensed hygienists, and
dental assistants set up care facilities in the schools using portable and disposable equipment. All children enrolled in participating schools are eligible
for ForsythKids. The program is designed to fill the gap in dental care for
at-risk children and ensure that they get preventative care as early as possible.
The ForsythKids team visits schools three times per year to maintain
ongoing dental care.
Each child is examined by a licensed dentist and provided instruction on
how to brush effectively. They also receive a dental cleaning, pit and fissure
sealants, fluoride varnish application and temporary fillings if needed. All
children receive a takehome form that provides a summary of the child’s
condition and the treatment provided. Those with decay and/or other
identified problems are referred for treatment and followed up for 30
days to ensure that they have found a dentist in their community. A list
of referral numbers in case of emergency is also provided.
The program features
oral health education
toothbrushes and toothpaste—for the children as well as
information for their parents. This model of care is designed so that it
can be replicated in any
If you are interested in learning more about bringing ForsythKids to your school, please contact Kathy Eklund at email@example.com.