Association‌ of‌ State‌ &‌ Territorial‌ Dental‌ Directors
3858‌ Cashill Blvd.,‌ Reno,‌ NV‌ ‌89509
Phone‌ 775-626-5008‌‌

School and Adolescent Oral Health Committee

ASTDD's School and Adolescent Oral Health (SAOH) Committee's mission is to promote the importance of good oral health practices that improve the oral health of school-age children and adolescents through education, networking, and collaborative partnerships at local, state and national levels. The committee serves as a resource to state oral health programs and others and works to ensure a strong oral health component in all school and adolescent health initiatives.

Committee Members

SAOH Committee Logic Model

SAOH Committee Work Plan

2021 School and Adolescent Oral Health Committee Annual Report

School and Adolescent Oral Health Programs

SAOH's programs promote, protect, and assure the oral health and well-being of school-aged children and adolescents. Through these programs, children and adolescents are encouraged to accept self-responsibility for their oral health, develop life-long healthy behaviors, and receive education, preventive care, treatment and other services.

School and adolescent oral health programs strive to:

(1) Assess the oral health needs of school-age children and adolescents;

(2) Develop policies to improve the oral health of children and adolescents and their families;

(3) Assure that children and adolescents are getting needed prevention and treatment services.

1. ASTDD White Papers

2. ASTDD Best Practice Approach Reports

3. School-Based Programs During COVID-19 Resources

School-Based Oral Health Programs (SBOHPs) provide a vital service to children who don't always have access to health care outside of school. The COVID-19 pandemic changed how school-based oral health (SBOH) programs deliver dental care for children. In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep children safe, schools went to virtual learning or modified schedules. This significantly impacted SBOH programs and the ability to gain access to children who have the highest need for oral health services and thus, required SBOH programs to reassess how they reach these children.

In June 2020, ASTDD disseminated a survey, supported by the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, to the oral health program directors in all U.S. states and territories to learn their plans for implementing SBOHPs during the 2020-2021 school year.  In September 2020, ASTDD followed up on the June 2020 survey by interviewing the responding state and territorial dental directors to ask about challenges, lessons learned and resources that programs have developed in response to COVID-19. In March 2021, ASTDD fielded a second survey of the oral health directors in all U.S. states and territories to assess the continued impact of COVID-19 on school-based oral health programs. The following are materials, resources shared by states/territories, and webcasts based on the surveys and interviews.

Summary Report from June 2020 survey and September 2020 interviews

Shared Resources

2020 Research Brief and Infographic

research brief and infographic based on the first survey and follow up interviews, developed by ASTDD and the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health found that this disruption had major implications for the oral health of children. Some key findings from the report:

  • 84% of state/territorial directors said they were spending at least some time on pandemic-related support, including communication materials for executive orders, dental licensing board consultation, dental provider communication, and infection control guidance.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cited the crucial role of SBOHPs in reducing decay and helping children "stay healthy and ready to learn." The CDC has called these programs "especially important for reaching children from low-income families who are less likely to receive private dental care."
  • 35% of directors said that most of their time was devoted to assisting with COVID-19 related activities.

While it's clear the pandemic has posed serious challenges for schools, parents and children, it also presented an opportunity for oral health programs to reassess priorities and develop contingency plans on how to continue providing these services to low-income children if a similar health crisis in the future disrupts SBOHPs. Visit the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health School Dental Programs Still Face Challenges webpage for additional information.

2020 ASTDD/DQP/OSAP Webcast

On Dec 10, 2020 ASTDD, the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention hosted a webcast that explored how COVID-19 has significantly impacted school-based health care programs and the ability to provide access to children who have the greatest need for these services. Expert speakers included:

  • Lori Cofano, RDH, BSDH, Dental Public Health Consultant, the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD)
  • Vuong K Diep, MPH, Health Science Specialist, Analytics & Evaluation, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
  • Shannon Mills, DDS, Oral Healthcare Consulting Services

Their PowerPoint slides are available here.

2021 ASTDD/CareQuest/National Association of School Nurses Webcast

In May 2021, ASTDD, CareQuest and the National Association of School Nurses hosted a webcast to present information from a second survey of state/territorial oral health programs that assessed the continued impact of COVID-19 on school-based oral health programs.

The PowerPoint slides are available here.

2021 Research Brief

Challenges in Implementing School-Based Oral Health Programs: Short and Long Term Impacts of COVID-19

This work was supported through a collaboration with the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health.

4. ASTDD School Sealant Program Tools

  • This ASTDD developed PowerPoint presentation is designed to train and/or assist dental providers with standardizing the process of selecting teeth for sealant placement. The training includes a didactic presentation to assist with tooth selection criteria using clinical photographs for dental providers. Both the PowerPoint and pretest/post-test presentations are meant to be used for information dissemination and to show clinical examples of sound, cavitated, and non-cavitated lesions on tooth surfaces. (February 2020).
    Dental Sealants Standardization Training Template
    Pre/Post Test Quiz

ASTDD supports the integration of oral health into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model and has prepared the following resources:

5. Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Oral Health Toolkit

This toolkit contains resources to assist in integrating oral health into the WSCC model. The toolkit is useful for oral health programs, school nurses and other health professionals, teachers and school administrators, community health workers, parents and others who are interested in promoting oral health in the school-setting following a model that addresses the whole child and whose goal is to improve learning and health among school-age children. We value your input and appreciate your feedback on the WSCC Toolkit. Please send comments to

6. Other WSCC Resources

Submit a short 2-page summary of your successful school-based program that uses the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model to be posted and shared online. Submission Form

7. Webinars

  • Human Papillomavirus Caused Cancers are Preventable- The ASTDD School and Adolescent Oral Health Committee hosted this webinar presented by Dr. Michael Brown, Regional Medical Director employed by Merck. Screening will not protect your patients from most Human Papillomavirus (HPV) cancers. Cervical cancer is the only type of HPV cancer with a screening test to detect HPV-caused cancer at an early stage. The other five, including oropharyngeal cancer, may not be detected until other symptoms exist. HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90% of cancers caused by HPV from ever developing. Dr. Brown discusses how we can help improve the vaccine rate. Merck Regional Medical Directors may be contacted directly for HPV vaccine presentations. (June 2021)
  • Successfully Partnering with Students to Improve School Oral Health - ASTDD School and Adolescent Oral Health Committee brings you the final webinar of a three part series focused on ways to increase consent for school oral health services. This webinar features Jessica Daniels of Youth Empowerment Solutions! (YES!) and Camilo Menjia of Catalyst Miami. Both organizations promote health equity, social justice and the importance and power of youth led oral health programs and education. The presenters talked about the benefits for actively engaging youth in school oral health programs and some key strategies for engaging and retaining youth in school oral health programs.
  • Successfully Working with Schools To Improve Oral Health Consent Returns - ASTDD School and Adolescent Oral Health Committee webinar brings you the second of a three part series of webinars focused on ways to increase consent for school oral health services. The webinar features Nichole Bobo, director of nursing education, National Association of School Nurses and Kimberly Bartolomucci, program manager, The Oral Health Forum.  The presentation addresses ways to partner with school nurses and school systems in promoting school positive consent for oral health services.
  • Tools, Tips, and Strategies to Increase Consents in School Sealant Programs - This webinar hosted by ASTDD School and Adolescent Oral Health Committee featured Mary Pat Burgess, MBA, RDH program director, City of Chicago School-Based Oral Health Program and Matt Crespin, MPH, RDH associate director, Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin. These presenters shared their experiences with school sealant programs in Chicago and Wisconsin, their challenges to getting positive parental consents, useful strategies for tackling barriers, and innovative and tested tips and tools used to increase utilization.
    SAOH Consent Presentation 5-15-2019 PowerPoint
    SAOH Consent Presentation 5-15-2019 Crespin PowerPoint

8. School Oral Health Program Resources

Resources for Oral Health Screenings by School Nurses - In some situations, school nurses may be the only avenue for assuring that children receive dental screenings/referrals. ASTDD and the National Association of School Nurses have collaborated to develop some resources to assist with doing so.

9. Websites

10. Other Resources

  • National Maternal and Child Health Oral Health Resource Center: Nutrition and Oral Health: A Resource Guide The guide includes a great selection of resources meant to assist health professionals and parents in promoting good eating and oral health practices to help prevent oral diseases in pregnant women, children, and adolescents. (2020)
  • Watch Your Mouth is a collaborative Oral Cancer Awareness Month Campaign between the Oral Health Office of Alabama Department of Public Health and the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute. This PowerPoint goes through the planning and implementation of the campaign. For questions about the campaign contact Tommy Johnson, DMD, Alabama State Dental Director: