Smile Central Cavity Fighter InitiativeDental Health Education and Screening Program

Smile Central Dental is committed to the community and the dental health of its children. We have screened over 35,000 kids at no charge.


Dental Health Education and Screening Program

The SCD Cavity Fighter Initiative is a Dental Health Education and Screening Program that is offered throughout the county as a service to the community. Our award winning program, has been to over 50 local schools educating children on proper dental hygiene. Our unique program employs a vintage fire truck , retro fitted with a dental operatory we call the SCD Dental Rescue Unit. Together with our therapy dog, Snickers, they provide a friendly, positive experience at the dentist.

The program begins with a 20 minute puppet show aimed at entertaining children while providing important dental health guidelines. Children learn proper tooth brushing techniques and healthy eating tips designed to show children that keeping teeth healthy can be fun. After the show, children have an opportunity to tour the fire truck and obtain an free dental screening from an experienced dentist. The dentist evaluates their dental status and records his findings on a dental report card informing parents of the results.

The children also get to meet with our dental therapy dog, Snickers, who has been with us for two years . Snickers is a friendly, Australian Labradoodle, bred to work with children and make them feel at ease. Snickers works regularly at our offices, calming highly anxious children during in office procedures.

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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q: Who can book an SCD Cavity Fighter Program?
A: Any public or private school or institution that seeks to educate children in dental health. The program books up quickly and does not operate in the winter months. Please call our coordinator at (973) 574-1000 to inquire about having the program at your school.
Q: Does the Program cost anything?
A: The program is entirely free. Smile Central runs the program as a service to the community to educate children on preventative dental care and to ensure a positive dental experience.
Q: What does the screening entail?
A: A dental professional will check each child’s teeth for noticeable carries and ensure that their primary teeth are developing appropriately. Sometimes the dentist will recommend that a child seek emergency care if there are obvious abscesses or a child expresses pain. No X-rays or invasive procedures are performed in the fire truck. Parents are provided with a dental health report card informing them of their child’s dental status.
Q: Are permission slips required?
A: If the children are to be screened a parent or guardian will need to fill out a permission slip allowing the child to be screened by a dental professional. Parents will have the opportunity to waive the screening and have the child attend the only the puppet show portion of the program.
Q:For what age is the program geared to?
A: Typically, ages 3-7.  For Pre-Schoolers this is often their first dental experience. It is important to have a positive dental experience early on so as to encourage healthy dental habits later. We welcome the opportunity to screen special needs children.
Q: Does the school need to make special arrangements for the physical set up of the program?
A: There needs to be a place to park the fire truck where the children can board and assemble safely. On a sunny day the puppet show can be presented outdoors or in case of inclement weather, in a classroom or assembly place.
Q: Can the student be scheduled for an emergency procedure on the same day?
A: Yes. Smile Central Dental has two dental offices in Passaic County, one in Paterson and one in Passaic which can accommodate emergencies during office hours. No appointment is needed and a child will be seen at the earliest available time. Our offices are conveniently open Monday through Saturday.
To book a program, please contact our coordinator at (973) 574-1000