Oral Health and School Readiness

In 2018, over 440,000 of California K-12 students missed school due to dental problems. Developing good dental health habits at an early age, including regular dental visits, can help a child’s attendance, school grades, and a lifetime of healthy smiles. Help promote and reinforce the benefits of good oral health in childhood.

Click on the links below to view resources from Smile, California on oral health and school readiness:

The Magical Toothbrush

Sweet-Tooth Sophie has a tooth that hurts. With the help of the Magical Toothbrush, Sofie discovers the importance of taking care of her teeth. Watch the Magical Toothbrush video as she learns:

  • How to properly brush and floss her teeth
  • Which foods and drinks to choose for strong and healthy teeth
  • Ways to protect her teeth from cavities

Click here to download a printable 12-month (2022) brushing calendar from the American Dental Association.

This oral health education video was produced by the OC Local Oral Health Program.

School-Based Dental Sealant Programs

Dental sealants are thin coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars) and help prevent cavities for many years (NIH). According to the CDC, school-age children (ages 6-11) or in grades 1 to 5, without dental sealants can have almost three (3) times more cavities than those with sealants.

A school-based dental sealant program is an effective way to help prevent cavities among children. School sealant programs use portable dental equipment to apply sealants in schools. A qualified, licensed dental professional will apply the dental sealant. A typical sealant program will visit an individual school over the course of 1 to 3 days.

School-based sealant programs generally focus efforts on schools with a higher percentage of children eligible for federal free or reduced-cost meal programs. Click on More information below to learn about school sealant programs or contact the County of Orange Health Care Agency – Local Oral Health Program (OC-LOHP) at lohp@ochca.com.