About Us

The New Jersey Department of Health established the Children’s Oral Health Program in 1981 and has a 35 year history of serving the oral health education needs of children throughout the State.

The goal of the program is to provide interactive oral health education programs in the school setting on topics such as good oral hygiene, brushing and flossing, oral injury prevention, healthy food choices and tobacco cessation.

Education activities are age-appropriate and cover a variety of oral health issues including, but not limited to, oral hygiene, fluoride as a preventive measure for tooth decay, dental sealants, healthy food choices, periodontal disease, tobacco cessation, and the prevention of oral trauma. Classroom presentations include interactive discussion and use of audio-visual materials. All oral health program activities can be adapted for an audience of children with special needs.

In addition, programs are conducted for non-dental professionals including school nurses, public health nurses, teachers and WIC Coordinators. Special education initiatives also take place for pregnant women.

Numerous program initiatives and collaborative partnerships with state and local agencies, departments and organizations have been established and include the following:

  • "Save Our Smiles" voluntary 32 week fluoride mouth rinse (FMR) program. The 32-week program represents an active intervention to reduce tooth decay in elementary school children. The FMR program targets schools in communities with non-fluoridated water or where the water is not optimally fluoridated.
  • New Jersey Dental Clinic Directory, "Dial A Smile" which is a reference tool that provides a central source of information on public dental clinic services in New Jersey.
  • "Special Smiles" is a school-based program targeting children with special health care needs.
  • "Sugar-Less Day to Prevent Tooth Decay" is a statewide education initiative for students. The program includes oral health education, a poster contest, and oral health information and resources for students, teachers and parents.

 

Last Reviewed: 1/31/2017