Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting U.S. children and teens. In Oregon, 52% of children 6-9 years old have already experienced tooth decay. Oral diseases affect what we eat, how we look, the way we communicate, and how we feel about ourselves. Children with oral health problems were more likely to miss school and have difficulty performing well in school 1. Oral disease is almost 100% preventable. Ensuring students have access to oral health education and basic preventive care can improve their chances for a successful future.

There are many programs supporting the k-12 population in Oregon. This page is a central source of information for providers, educators and parents interested in resources for children and teens.

Sealants are a safe and effective way to prevent cavities. Sealants are a barrier that are placed over the pits of back teeth in order to prevent food from sticking in the grooves, which can contribute to tooth decay and cavities. Many dental care organizations are working in schools to provide sealants to students without needing a trip to the dentist. Signing consent forms is key to making your student eligible for sealants.

unsealed molar     Sealed Molar

unsealed molar     Sealed Molar


Fluoridated toothpaste, fluoride rinse and fluoride tablets all help prevent cavities by making teeth stronger. Water fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to prevent cavities using fluoride. Another way to get fluoride for strengthening teeth is through fluoride gels, foams or varnish. 

Children of all ages, especially those with high risk of early childhood caries (cavities), can benefit from fluoride varnish application. This topical treatment is a quick procedure in which fluoride is applied to the teeth with a brush by a health professional. Fluoride varnish can be applied up to four times a year, though children with less risk of caries may not need that many applications. Fluoride varnish comes in many flavors, including bubble gum, caramel, and strawberry.

While children can receive fluoride varnish applications during regular dental visits, more and more medical providers are becoming certified to apply fluoride varnish. Learn more by reading 5 Things Every Parent Should Know About Fluoride Varnish.

Habits for a Healthy Mouth
Resources and Tips for Parents
Resources for Dental Care

Oregon Health Plan (OHP)
How to Find a Dentist
Oregon Health Plan Dental Benefits Brochure -
Oregon Health Plan Dental Benefits BrochureSpanish
Low-Cost Orthodontic Care for Kids
OHP Dental Plan Options
Oregon Health Plan Information

ODS Children's Program
MODA/ODS Children's Program

State Sealant Program
Learn about the Oregon Health Authority Statewide School Dental Sealant Program here.
To learn if your school or a school near you offers a school sealant program, contact Laurie Johnson, Program Analyst at Oregon Health Authority, at or 971-673-0339. 
Brochures on dental Sealants: English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese

Dental 3
Dental3 Resources

Resources by Region
Full Resources by Region

Benton and Linn Counties -Community Health Centers
Salem-Keizer School District Dental Health Solutions for Children
Kemple Memorial Children’s Dental Clinic in Central Oregon: Bend
Medford La Clinica
Roseburg Mercy Foundation – Healthy Kids Outreach Program
Columbia Gorge Area -One Community Health
South Lane, Creswell, North Douglas and Crow-Applegate-Lorane school districts
Marion and Polk Counties Boys & Girls Club, Health and Dental Center
Oregon- The Children’s Program
Portland- The Friends of Creston
Beaverton, McMinnville, Newberg, Tualatin - Virginia Garcia Outreach
Eugene - White Bird Clinic
North Clackamas -Wichita Center for Family and Community
Oregon/Washington Medical Teams International

Visiting the Dentist
Helpful tips for dental visits (English and Spanish)

Provider Resources
JADA for the Patient

Oral Health Curriculum Ideas

1. Jackson, S. L., Vann, W. F., Kotch, J. B., Pahel, B. T., & Lee, J. W. (2011). Impact of poor oral health on children's school attendance and performance. American Journal of Public Health, 101(10), 1900-1906.