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

Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

School Fluoride Mouthrinse Program- Archived Summary

Practice Number: 53003
Submitted By: Division of Dental Health, Virginia Department of Health
Submission Date: February 2002
Last Reviewed: February 2013
Last Updated: February 2013
Best Practice Approach Example School Fluoride Mouthrinse Program

The Dental Health Program (DHP) administered a weekly school fluoride mouthrinse program from the early 1980’s to 2009.  In 2009, there were over 50,000 children participating in the fluoride mouthrinse program in 234 schools in 58 counties.  Budget cuts in 2009 resulted in termination of the program at the state level. A limited amount of grant funding continues to support the program through the 2012-2013 school year in targeted health districts. The DHP provides the mouthrinse and related supplies to schools with elementary age children in the 1st to the 5th grades in non-fluoridated areas.  A local public health dental hygienist provides technical assistance and program monitoring to each school, as needed. The DHP also provides technical assistance to school staff considering implementing the fluoride program with their own funding.  A small number of schools statewide, that are not located in grant funded health districts, have obtained local funding and have continued the mouthrinse program following DHP established guidelines. The program has been an excellent entry into the schools, as the program must receive the approval and support of the School Board, Superintendent, Principals, and teachers.  Parental permission is also required for each child to participate in any mouthrinse program. Many schools that have a history of participation in the mouthrinse program are now opening their doors to the DHP and allowing school-based sealant and varnish services, as well.  Currently, the DHP is providing the fluoride mouthrinse to about thirty-five schools and serving over 5000 children. The estimated annual cost of participation per child is $3.50. 

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Sharon Logue, Dental Health Program, Virginia Department of Health, 109 Governor Street, Richmond, VA 23219, Phone: 804-864-7778, Fax: 804-864-7783, Email: