In December 2021, the Hawaii Keiki: Healthy and Ready to Learn’s Dental Sealant Program (DSP) officially launched on the island of Maui. Hawaii Keiki – HDS Dental Sealant Program Maui team (Hui No Ke Ola Pono – Dr. Emi Orikasa) held its first dental sealant day on December 14th at Hana High & Elementary. During their visit to Hana High & Elementary, the Maui team screened 21 keiki. 17 students needed sealants and 58 teeth were sealed. In addition, 3 students were identified as needing urgent care. The Maui team made referrals for these children to see a dentist.
On December 16th, the Maui team also provided services at Princess Nahienaena Elementary School with 20 keiki screened, 14 students needed sealants, 51 teeth were sealed, and 4 keiki needed urgent care.
In early 2020, the Dental Sealant Program was temporarily paused due to the pandemic in order to keep keiki and staff safe. The program resumed in December 2020 and has been providing much needed services to schools with increased safety measures and procedures in compliance with CDC guidelines. In the 2020-2021 program year, 289 keiki were provided a signed consent for oral assessment and sealant, with 123 keiki receiving dental sealants, a total of 406 keiki had sealant materials applied. Dental Sealant Program improves the oral and overall health of children by increasing the number of children who receive oral health assessments, education and dental sealants within designated Title I schools. Dental sealants can help to prevent tooth decay and help with school absenteeism, difficulties in eating, difficulties in concentrating due to pain, and increase self-esteem for Hawaii students.
Hawaii Keiki would like to thank the Dental Sealant Program staff, Hawaii Keiki School Nurses Lindsey Guth, Janel Branson and Rebecca Sigari, and the DOE school staff for making the expansion launch on Maui a success despite the challenges caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.