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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

New York State School-based Supplemental Fluoride Program- Archived Summary

Practice Number: 35004
Submitted By: Bureau of Dental Health, New York State Department of Health
Submission Date: April 2002
Last Reviewed: June 2012
Last Updated: June 2012
Best Practice Approach Example New York State School-based Supplemental Fluoride Program

In 1978, the New York State Health Department initiated the Supplemental Fluoride Program. The goal of this program is to prevent dental caries among targeted groups of children at high risk for dental disease and promote awareness of the importance of oral health. The Fluoride Supplement Program consists of a school-based fluoride mouth rinse program (which serves elementary school children in fluoride deficient areas) and a preschool preventive tablet program (which serves three and four year old preschool children living in fluoride-deficient areas). The Supplemental Fluoride Program is implemented in a participating school or facility as part of a health education program. Participation in the program is voluntary and parental consent is required. The fluoride supplies is ordered by the program, purchased by the New York State Department of Health, and shipped directly from the manufacturer to the participating school or facility. The program delivers either the daily use of a fluoride tablet or weekly fluoride mouth rinse solution under the general supervision of a volunteer supervising dentist or school physician. In addition, a health coordinator, who is either the school nurse or a dental hygienist, monitors the fluoride material. The Supplemental Fluoride Program provides: (1) informational, financial and technical assistance to all schools interested in implementing the program, (2) educational and promotional information on fluorides and dental health to teachers, parents and health care providers, and (3) in-service training for program personnel at participating schools or facilities. The MCH Block Grant funds the program for a budget of $130,000. The program provides fluoride mouth rinse to over 110,000 school children in grades 1-8 and offers fluoride drops and tablets to clients through well-child clinics and WIC sites in thirteen counties. Since its inception in 1978, the program has maintained a 90 percent participation rate.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Anne Varcasio, RDH, MA, Bureau of Dental Health, New York State Department of Health ESP - Corning Tower Bldg., Room 957, Albany, NY  12237-0619, Phone: 518-474-1961, Fax: 518-474-8985, Email:

Jay V. Kumar, DDS, MPH, Acting Director, Bureau of Dental Health New York State Department of Health, ESP - Corning Tower Building, Room 957 Albany, NY 12237-0619, Phone: 518-474-1961, Fax: 518-474-8985, Email: