Texas public school nurses' assessment of children's oral health status

J Sch Health. 1999 Feb;69(2):69-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.1999.tb06371.x.


Researchers investigated the amount and types of dental morbidity that Texas public school nurses observed in an average school week. Two thousand nurses were randomly selected and surveyed by mail with 54% responding. Respondents reported 3.5% of the student population sought the nurses' services for a dental problem. Twelve school nurses reported that, of all health problems they observed, more than 50% were dental-related. Approximately 48% indicated oral health screenings occurred at least once every other year. Data suggest children are suffering dental problems that could possibly be detected and treated by oral health screenings, thus preventing more serious morbidity. As part of the Texas public school admissions protocol, like required immunizations, children suffering dental problems could be referred for preadmission oral examinations to identify early any dental problems, and thus improving the children's oral health and preventing school absenteeism.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Oral
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Oral Health
  • Periodontal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Periodontal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*
  • School Nursing*
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Tooth Diseases / epidemiology
  • Tooth Diseases / prevention & control*