Fluoride Varnish Program
The Varnish Today, Vanish Decay program is a school-based oral screening and fluoride varnish clinic which aims to
give preschool children the best chance to enter grade school cavity-free and ready to learn. The program began in 2009 through a partnership with the
Peoria Unified School District and provides all 1,100 preschool children in the district the opportunity to receive oral screenings, fluoride varnish,
dental supplies, and referrals for children with severe dental needs. Participating children also receive dental supplies (toothbrush,
toothpaste, and floss) to help them fight tooth decay!
Fluoride varnish is a temporary paint on application of concentrated fluoride that is very effective in preventing tooth decay when applied properly. Its low cost, ease of application, and safety make it an ideal tool in the fight against tooth decay for young children.
The fluoride varnish is the yellowish substance and has the same consistency as nail polish. It is applied to all tooth surfaces with the applicator brush and dries on contact. Depending on the type of fluoride varnish used, teeth may appear yellow after application. Children receiving
the treatment do not brush their teeth until the day after application in order to allow the fluoride take full effect.
Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation hosts dental screening clinics for preschool students in the Northwest Regional Council through a partnership with Maricopa County Office
of Oral Health and First Things First. The clinics are set up in either a cafeteria or classroom in a centrally located school and use an Affiliated Dental hygiene practice model to
screen, apply fluoride varnish treatments, and refer students with urgent dental needs to local dentists. This program has worked effectively at Peoria Unified School District
who coordinates the transportation of all the children in the district to be bused to the clinic. There are several clinic dates in both Fall and Spring. At each clinic,
about 200 pre-school children will be screened, receive personal dental supplies and oral health instruction. Teacher and parent education sessions are also offered.
After children receive their treatment, they assemble their “smile bag” which has a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, educational material, and other fun
gifts. The smile bags are not only meant to be fun, but to ensure the children have the tools they need to help fight tooth decay!
This program can be replicated in different school districts and different settings.
If this is something you would like to see in your schools, please contact us to explore possible partnerships.