Oral Health Surveillance and School-Based Programs

The Collier County Dental Outreach Team provides dental screenings to third-grade students in all 36 Collier County Public Schools as part of the University of Florida College of Dentistry Oral Health Surveillance Program. The purpose of dental screenings is to perform a quick visual inspection of the mouth to identify any obvious signs of dental problems, such as tooth decay or gum disease. Participating children receive a parent letter with the results of their dental screening, as well as a referral to accessible oral health care providers for follow-up evaluation and routine care as needed.


Dental screenings are an effective and non-invasive method to identify dental problems early on before pain or infection develops. Oral health surveillance also allows for a greater understanding of the oral health needs of Collier County children, and can provide information to plan or evaluate dental outreach programs. Each year, the Collier County Dental Outreach Team provides dental screenings to over 2,600 Collier County third-graders in conjunction with other health screenings.  

Since 2013, the Naples Children & Education Foundation, founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, has supported school-based dental outreach programs which provide preventive dental treatments to underserved children in Collier County. In partnership with Collier County Public Schools, the dental outreach team provides dental check-ups, oral hygiene education, dental sealants, and fluoride varnish to participating elementary school children. These no-cost services take place in school classrooms using portable dental equipment, eliminating financial and transportation barriers and reducing missed school time.