ForsythKids is a community program of the non-profit Forsyth Institute. Forsyth was founded more than 100 years ago, as a dental infirmary for children. Today, the Institute exists to improve oral and overall health through innovative science and community programs. ForsythKids has provided care to thousands of Massachusetts children since its inception in Lynn in 2003.
We provided preventive dental care at all the elementary schools in Lynn. Any child can sign up for the program with parental consent. If a child has no dental insurance, then the care is provided at no cost. There is also no cost to the Lynn Schools. We would like to continue providing care in the elementary and expand to middle schools. We’d also like to offer a new program via a pilot at Central High School.
Children in our program receive a dental exam, are diagnosed by a licensed dentist and provided instruction on how to brush effectively. They also receive a cleaning, sealants, fluoride varnish, and if needed temporary fillings. All children receive a report to inform parents of findings. Those with decay and/or other identified problems are referred to a dentist for treatment.
ForysthKids is different from other programs in the following ways:
- Every child is scene twice a year by a specialized dentist (Our dental team includes pediatric and public health dentists – their training makes them ideal for a school-based program!)
- We have a bilingual team
- We have three patient advocates who communicate treatment needs to parents and guardians and coordinate referrals to ‘dental homes’ (Lynn Community Health Center, community dentists, via formal collaborative agreements)
- We are exclusively not-for profit
- We have proposed a different program for the High School because students with adult mouths should be receiving x-rays at a dental office!
Our commitment to Lynn is to provide the highest quality state-of-the-art services; ongoing evaluation and quality improvement. We have established a nine year collaboration with our Lynn school partners, the DPH and public health community, and local dental providers and we hope to continue to safe guard the oral health of Lynn school children!