Office of Oral Health

School-Based Fluoride Mouthrinse Program

Tooth decay is the most widespread, chronic disease of childhood and often requires extensive and costly repair. Fluoride is recognized as an effective agent in the control of dental decay. The most cost-effective method for the reduction of tooth decay is obtaining systemic fluoride through community water fluoridation. However, not all Arizona communities have drinking water with the optimal fluoride levels. Currently, nearly 50% of Arizona residents still do not receive the benefit of optimal fluoride levels in their drinking water.

The Office of Oral Health's School-Based Fluoride Mouthrinse Program is an effective alternative to systemic fluoride in the reduction of tooth decay as demonstrated by research conducted over the past 15 years. Fluoride mouth rinsing is a proven and effective method in reducing tooth decay up to 31%.

During the 2010-2011 school year, 90 Arizona schools with over 23,000 children participated in the fluoride mouthrinse program. Schools in areas with sub-optimal fluoride levels in the community drinking water that have over 50% student participation in the free and reduced school lunch program are encouraged to participate in this program.