Association‌ of‌ State‌ &‌ Territorial‌ Dental‌ Directors
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Phone‌ 775-626-5008‌‌

Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

"Save Our Smiles" Voluntary Fluoride Mouthrinse Program

Practice Number: 33004
Submitted By: New Jersey Department of Health, Division of Community Health Services
Submission Date: March 2002
Last Reviewed: June 2018
Last Updated: June 2018
Best Practice Approach Example "Save Our Smiles" Voluntary Fluoride Mouthrinse Program

The “Save Our Smiles” voluntary weekly fluoride mouthrinse program is funded by the New Jersey Department of Health. Schools targeted for participation include “high-need/high risk” schools located in districts where community water is not optimally fluoridated. CDC has established a standard for optimal fluoridation at .7 parts of fluoride per million parts of water and not more than 2 parts per million. The program started in 1981 and served 20,000 children that year. During the 2016-2017 school year, approximately 70,000 students received oral health/hygiene education and oral health personal care resources. During that school year, over 11,500 students participated in the voluntary school-based fluoride mouthrinse program.

During the 2016-2017 school year, the cost of one mix and pump fluoride mouthrinse kit was $91.80. Each kit serves 75 students per school year.  The program funding overall was $80,000.

Lessons Learned:

The program has been successful in helping vulnerable children (in school districts that do not have optimally fluoridated water) to have access to a fluoride mouthrinse in the school setting.

The largest challenge has been a lack of parental consent for more students to take part in the voluntary mouthrinse program.  We intend to ensure that our messaging is more culturally and linguistically competent in order to increase participation.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Lakota Kruse, MD, MPH, Medical Director, New Jersey Department of Health, 50 East State Street, 6th Floor, P.O. Box 364 Trenton, NJ, 08625-0364, Phone: 609-292-5656, Email: