School-Based Oral Health

Students should have equitable access to healthcare. School-based oral health programs (SBOHPs) help reduce barriers to receiving care and facilitate direct connections between school nurses and safety net clinic staff, ensuring a more fair, patient-centered, and value-based oral health care system.

Did you know that dental caries, or cavities,
are the most common chronic disease of childhood in the US? 

Untreated cavities can cause pain, infection, missed school time, and difficulty eating, talking, or socializing. Schools can address the health needs of Virginia students by providing dental care on-site. This ensures that children receive necessary oral health care and education while removing access barriers such as:


of children who received care at a school-based program in 2018 had not seen a dentist in the prior year.


children can stay at school for care, meeting patients where they are

Caregiver Time

caregivers do not have to be present or take time off work to get their children to a dental clinic

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Since 2021, over 14,000 Virginia students have access to oral health services at school

School-Based Oral Health Program Learning Collaborative

The learning collaborative for dental safety net clinic staff and school nurses to strengthen existing or build new school-based oral health programs (SBOHP).

School-Based Health

The workgroup aims to improve children's health through oral health programs in schools. Learn how to get involved.

School-Based Oral Health Resources

Additional resources on school-based oral health programs, including reports, handouts, and presentations from national school-based health organizations.