School Fluoride Program: Ensuring a Lasting Smile

The Self-Applied Fluoride and Education Rinsing Program (SAFER) is a preventive serve that has been successfully implemented in many New York State schools for over 20 years. Participating children, age 6 and older, use 10ml or 5ml of 0.2% sodium fluoride solution, to rinse for one minute in the classroom.

Participating children too young to rinse and are in Head Start Programs or kindergarten chew a daily fluoride tablet or use daily fluoride drops for the prevention of tooth decay.

The program targets children who do not have access to community water fluoridation, who do not have access to dental care, who live in rural areas, who live at or below the poverty level. The supplements are free to schools and Head Start Programs that enroll.

School districts or public health professionals interested in the program should contact the department's Bureau of Dental Health to determine if they qualify.

For more information, contact Julie Reuther, RDH, MPH, Dental Program Coordinator, Bureau of Dental Health, (518) 474-1961 jar11@health.state.ny.us.