School-Based Oral Health Program

California Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment Mandate

All incoming Kindergarten and grade 1 students are required to meet the California Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment Mandate.

Schools are funded for this mandate through the Department of Education; funds are rolled into the Local Control Funding Formula to aid in the administrative task of data entry and reporting to the State.

In this work, The Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health has teamed with District Nursing Services and Healthy Start to engage providers to offer free screenings and apply fluoride varnish. Our partners at America’s ToothFairy and Oral Health America donated generously to this effort. Our pilot model has demonstrated that universal school-based screening and fluoride varnish application can decrease the incidence of dental disease and keep students in the classroom and ready to learn. To view the LAUSD Policy Bulletin for the oral health mandate, click here.

How to Establish a School-based Oral Health Program

Interested in starting an oral health initiative in your school district? You can read about it in this step by step guide in our Oral Health Initiative Operations Manual.

The intent of this manual is to facilitate the spread of wide-ranging oral health practices throughout the LAUSD as well as to inform school districts across the county on how to implement similar models. As of June 2017, The L.A. Trust has piloted a successful district-wide Oral Health Initiative, built on a public health approach, that has reached more than 50 schools in LAUSD. The model includes

  • school-based oral health education
  • community awareness building
  • on-site oral health screenings
  • oral health disease prevention and early intervention services
  • and dental home connections

It is now time to spread this sustainable model more broadly across LAUSD and other interested school districts across the country.

Oral Health Education Toolkit