School-Based Dental Program

Clay County Public Health Center's school-based dental program provides free dental screenings, oral health education, dental sealants and fluoride varnish applications. Dental screenings and fluoride varnish applications are offered to Clay County schools in the fall and oral health education, fluoride varnish applications and dental sealants are provided in the spring. Only select, eligible schools receive dental sealants.

Dental Screenings


According to the Centers for Disease Control, dental decay is the most common chronic disease among children yet are preventable by good oral home care and regular dental visits. Clay County Public Health Center’s registered dental hygienists provide free dental screenings to early child centers, preschools and elementary children throughout August-December. Children receive free toothbrush, toothpaste and oral health education materials.


Fluoride Varnish Applications


According to the American Dental Association, fluoride varnish is a dental decay preventive agent. With parental consent, fluoride varnish applications are applied by a registered dental hygienist and trained volunteers. The dental program provides two free 
applications yearly, approximately 3 to 6 months apart. Fluoride varnish is recommended by the American Pediatric Association to be applied 2-4 times a year once an infant’s first tooth erupts and throughout childhood and adolescent years. Most children, including those with braces, are recommended to receive fluoride varnish applications within the schools and at their dental office. If a child is ineligible for fluoride varnish, a note will be sent home with the child. For more information on the benefits of fluoride varnish, please see "Science Behind Fluoride" on our Oral Health Resources page.


Dental Sealants

Dental Sealants are white coatings that are applied in the grooves and pits of molars to block bacteria and food penetration. The sealant creates a smoother surface which allows the chewing surface to be cleaned more easily, reducing the risk of a cavity forming. All children with erupted molars may benefit from sealants. Registered dental hygienists use portable dental equipment to provide dental sealants within a school setting. For more information and the benefits of dental sealants, please see credible resources on the Oral Health Resources page.

Oral Health Education

Most children know they should brush and floss their teeth, but it is important that they understand why and how to. Each spring, registered dental hygienists provide age-appropriate oral health education within Clay County schools. The second fluoride varnish application and dental sealants are also conducted during this time.