Head Start and Early Learning Fluoride Varnish Program

Good oral health is incredibly important during a young child’s growth and development. In partnership with local Head Start programs and Early Learning Centers, the Collier County Dental Outreach Team provides dental screenings and preventive dental care for children ages 5 and under. Many children participating in these programs come from low-income households and are at increased risk of dental problems, emphasizing the need for accessible oral health care. Services include dental sealants on primary molars and application of fluoride varnish.

For new and expecting mothers, the Collier County Dental Outreach Team provides oral hygiene and nutrition education to promote optimal oral health habits at home.

Some important practices include:

  • Helping their child to brush their teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, especially before bedtime. For children under the age of 3 years old, a smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice should be used. For children between 3-5 years old, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is recommended.
  • Making toothbrushing time fun by playing their child’s favorite song or video as they brush.
  • Encouraging drinking water and reducing consumption of sugary beverages.
  • No letting infants go to sleep with a bottle filled with milk, juice, or other sweetened beverage.