Mondays with Maria: School-Based Dental Program
Posted on 04/01/2024
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Announcer: Welcome to Mondays with Maria, presented by Addition Financial Credit Union. Here's OCPS Superintendent Dr. Maria Vazquez.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Hello. Today we have a couple of new guests with us from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County. We have such a great partnership with the Department of Health and the services they provide are so valuable to our OCPS families. Today we're going to talk about another program that may not be as well known, the Mobile Dental Unit. Welcome, Dr. Andres Bello, Senior Dentist, and Robin Moorhead, Program Coordinator.

Dr. Bello: Hello.

Robin Moorhead: Hi there.

Dr. Bello: Maria it’s nice to be here.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Oral health is so important and teaching our children about how to care for their teeth can benefit them throughout their entire life. So, Robin, tell us about the program and how it works.

Robin Moorhead: Perfect. Well we have a 38 foot Winnebago that we've converted into a mobile dental unit. It has two operatories in there and we do a school-based sealant program with the Orange County Public School families. We work really, really close with the Title I school staff and they help me pass out permission slips, in fact to all the parents. Grades first through fifth can take can participate with this program. And all the services are provided by a dental hygienist, a registered dental hygienist. And he does have an assistant with him as well. With parental consent, our, our hygienist performs a hygiene assessment for each of the children. They do what's called a prophy or cleaning of teeth, fluoride placement. They do oral hygiene instruction and also they get dental sealants if applicable. If they don't have them on their back molars and Dr. Bella will explain more about that. So we see about 12, 12 to 15 children a day on the bus. Usually pass out about 300 or 400 permission slips, so we get them back. Maybe, maybe 10 to 20% of those kids are taking part in our program.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Yeah. And I bet many of our families aren't even aware that this is available.

Robin Moorhead: They're not.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Hopefully this is going to spread the word. So, Dr. Bello tell us why is this so important?

Dr. Bello: The dental sealant, this is very important step that we take and the reason we do that is to prevent the children to have cavity at a very little age. And the sealants is a, is a process very easy to make to do it. It's been done by the dentist, could be done by the hygienist and a register dental assistant. It consists in a little thin film that you place it on a tooth. Okay. And you, you, you cure it with a special light and it, it get hard. That will do what we do. The sealing is very simple. The back molars, the surfaces where they triculate food most of the time the grooves and pits get sealed. Cavity and decay cannot go in there. At least for three or four years if the children taken care of it.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: I wish I had that. It probably would've saved me a couple of fillings. So where can our families find more information about this program?

Robin Moorhead: Well, the, the families can go to our website at They can also contact our program 407-858-1478. Or they can even contact their Orange County Public School staff to find out more information.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: So this is a great service for our families. Is there any cost that's associated with this service?

Robin Moorhead: There is no cost to the families that, that give parental consent. And the best thing, the parent doesn't have to be there when they come for their sealants or their cleanings.

Dr. Maria Vazquez: Oh my gosh. I hope our families are watching and take advantage of this program. Thank you, Dr. Bello and Robin for being here with us. This is so important for our families. Thank you. Thank you all for watching and I'll see you next week On Mondays with Maria

Announcer: Mondays with Maria's presented by Addition Financial Credit Union. Count us in for every step of your financial journey. Learn more at For more OCPS news and information, visit I'm your announcer Deivarsi Demezier a senior at Apopka High School. Thanks for watching and have a great week.