The Forsyth Institute’s ForsythKids program builds healthy communities by providing children and young adults with the dental care they need, right where they live and learn. ForsythKids works with schools and community partners to offer dental care at no cost to the patient, that patient’s family, or the community site.

The Forsyth Institute was founded in 1910 as a dental infirmary for children in need. Today, the ForsythKids program caries out that founding legacy every day.

School-based oral health

ForsythKids brings preventive dental care to underserved populations in Massachusetts at schools, day care centers, neighborhood facilities, homeless shelter, summer camps, and public events. The program has provided dental care to tens of thousands of kids who otherwise would not have access to a dentist.

All children and young adults in a participating school or location are eligible to enroll in ForsythKids. Participants receive:

  • On-site dental examinations
  • Oral health education
  • Preventive services, including dental cleanings, application of fluoride varnish, and sealants to prevent decay
  • A toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss

If a participant is covered by MassHealth or private dental insurance, Forsyth will bill insurance for services but there is no co-pay, fee, or charge to families or schools. All children and young adults at each site, including the uninsured, are eligible to participate.  ForsythKids staff works to connect participants and their families to local dental clinics to establish a dental home, especially those identified with ongoing or urgent dental needs.

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    Give one more child a reason to smile.
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    Why is oral health important?

    Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease in the U.S. More than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illness. Untreated dental disease can lead to pain, lack of attention in the classroom, problems with eating and speaking, low self-esteem, and long-term health consequences. 

    To address the crisis of dental disease, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry now recommends children be seen by a dentist by age one, or when the first tooth comes in—whichever comes first. 

    Did you know that a child with cavities in her baby teeth is three times more likely to develop cavities in her adult teeth? ForsythKids provides preventive dental care to infants, toddlers and pre-school age children to reach them early and keep them healthy. Students enrolled in the program receive care three times per year and the ForsythKids team tracks any changes in dental health.

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