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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

Sugar-Less Day to Prevent Tooth Decay

Practice Number: 33024
Submitted By: New Jersey Department of Health, Children's Oral Health Education Program
Submission Date: January 2012
Last Reviewed: May 2017
Last Updated: May 2017
Best Practice Approach Example -

The “Sugar-Less Day to Prevent Tooth Decay” initiative promotes the importance of reducing sugary drinks and snacks in the daily diet and emphasizes the importance of good oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups, and healthy food choice selection.

The initiative targets students in grades 4 and/or 5. Schools are contacted early in the school year to secure consent to participate. Approximately two months prior to the scheduled Program, poster materials are mailed to the school for student use.

Students participate in the “Sugar-Less Day” education program that includes viewing the “Count the Sugar” video, Sugar-Less Day to Prevent Tooth Decay” themed poster contest and interactive oral health classroom-based discussion.

Each student receives a certificate of participation and oral health care kit for take home use. The kit contains a toothbrush and cover, toothbrushing timer, floss, toothpaste and education resources.

Student prepare posters that are displayed throughout the school for viewing by students, staff and community members who may visit the school. This display emphasizes the importance of good oral health and reduction of sugar-sweetened beverages. The local press highlights the school efforts in the local media to emphasize the importance of good oral health and healthy food choices.

Posters are prepared without the name of the student and are judged for message and creativity. First and second place ribbons are awarded.

Participating schools receive the “Count the Sugar” and “Drink Pyramid” poster and a framed Certificate of Participation.

During the 2015-2016 school year, 19 schools with 1,367 students participated in the activity.  

Approximate per student cost to implement “Sugar-Less Day to Prevent Tooth Decay” in a participating school is as follows:

Each oral health care kit includes the following items. The approximate cost per student when conducted during the 2015-2016 school year was $ 0.99/student. Costs may vary due to product promotion sales, purchase in bulk and available supplies on hand.




Child toothbrush










Participation Certificate


Parent Letter




Envelope Label


Poster Paper


Total per student


Lessons Learned:

  • Secure consent to participate from school principal as early in the school year as possible. 
  • Ensure “consent to photograph” for students that may be photographed.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Beverly Kupiec-Sce, Ph.D,
Program Director
New Jersey Department of Health, Children’s Oral Health Education Program
P.O. Box 364
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0364
Phone: 609-943-5749
Fax: 609- 292-3580