Roc Well Report: Back to School Dental Law

- Rochester, NY (WROC)-  Seven-year-old Shaydavion Barrett is used to trips to the dentist office.  Just ask his mom, Shyannah, "It's very important. We come at least every six months."

Shaydavion's headed into the second grade at Rochester's Wilson Foundation Academy.  Under a relatively new state law, all second graders enrolled in a public school need to provide a dental health certificate to their school from their dentist.  The law also applies to kindergarten, fourth, seventh and tenth graders.

Doctor Stephanie Vihn is a pediatric dentist for Eastman Dental's Smile Mobile, "It really promotes the importance of dental health. Also, it helps establish a dental home for kids especially for kids who don't yet have one."  She says healthy teeth can be crucial to a child's overall health, "It affects how they eat, how they learn, how they speak, their nutrition, school attendance, school performance as well." 

The smilemobile travels to 17 schools a year in Rochester.  Last year, they served about 2,000 children.  Vihn says it's meant to make it easier and more affordable for parents.  She appreciates appointments but takes walk in's and won't turn any child away.

As for Shyannah, she only learned about the certificate requirement after receiving a letter in the mail from the Rochester city school district but she appreciates the law and program's like the smile mobile which make it easier to keep her son healthy, "I want him to have his teeth for the rest of his life."

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