In an effort to help decrease dental caries (cavities) in children, water testing to determine fluoride content and if needed fluoride supplements are provided to children age six months to school entry that do not have access to a fluoridated water supply.
Fluoride Supplement Program
Kentucky began its fluoride supplement program in 1978. This program primarily serves children ages 6 months to 6 years old whose home water supply is low in fluoride. Providers are county health departments, private dentists and physicians. The provider assesses the child’s drinking water supply. If it is not from a known fluoridated water source (e.g. city water), a water sample kit is issued to the family and a sample is sent to the state laboratory for analysis. If the water is low in fluoride, supplementation may be required. Dosage is based on the level of fluoride in the water and the child’s age in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Because providers receive supplements and testing supplies free of charge to their offices, there is no cost to families to participate in this program.
KIDS SMILE: Fluoride Varnish Program
Beginning in 2003, the KIDS SMILE: Fluoride Varnish Program was initiated by local health department nurses who had attended and participated in the KIDS SMILE: Fluoride Varnish trainings. Since then, KIDS SMILE: Fluoride Varnish trainings have been held at 23 regional training sites to approximately 1,400 health department nurses and other community Providers. Oral Health Staff provided over 45,000 pre-packed fluoride varnish kits to participating local health departments as well as clinical service sites of Kentucky’s Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs. In FY 07, a total of 31,103 services (including oral health screenings and fluoride varnish applications) were provided to children by local health department and Commission nurses.