Dental Sealant Program FAQs

How are these services free?
The Medicaid dental plans cover the cost of these services whether your student is insured or not. Every student is able to participate in our services regardless of insurance coverage.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are a thin material that is placed on the chewing surfaces of the molars (back teeth) to help keep cavity-causing bacteria out of the deep grooves. The sealant material starts in a capsule and is then mixed in our small machine to make it into a putty-like consistency. The hygienist then places this material onto the tooth and uses a gloved finger or cotton roll to spread it around the grooves of the teeth. It takes 2 minutes to set up initially and 24 hours to fully cure, we recommend avoiding hard or sticky foods for 24 hours to improve retention of the sealant.
Can my child still participate if they have braces?
Yes. The bands on the molars do not cover the parts of the teeth that are sealed.
Why in school instead of at the dentist’s office?
Your student will only be out of class for a short amount of time. This is significantly less than if you were to have to visit an office during school hours. As a parent or guardian, you will also not have to take the additional time off work to take your student into the dentist. The long-term effect of these services is: 1) less money spent for dental treatment that could be prevented by having sealants placed to keep cavities from forming 2) less school missed related to dental pain or needs and 3) less time out of class for the placement of sealants.
Does my child still need to see the dentist regularly?
Yes. The dental screening our hygienist does when she sees the student does NOT take the place of a full dental exam done by a dentist. Our hygienists can only see what is visible to the naked eye. There can be several things going on in your student’s mouth that will only be found by going to see a dentist.
What if my child is already seeing a dentist regularly?
That is great. Your student is still able to participate in our services. Sealants will be checked and replaced if any have come off.
What is the sealant material made out of?
The sealant material is glass ionomer, made up of three ingredients – water, Polymeric acid, and glass powder.
Will my personal information be shared with anyone?
We do not share personal information with anyone other the dental plan your child is covered by in order to coordinate additional dental treatment if necessary. No other personal information is shared with anyone. Please review our Privacy Practices on our website for additional information.
What schools are eligible to participate in the School-Based Dental Screening & Sealant Program?
Eligible schools are any elementary and/or middles schools that are located in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington County whose federal free and reduced lunch rate is at least 40% or higher.

Fluoride Varnish Program FAQs

What if my child just saw the dentist and got fluoride varnish there?
It is perfectly safe to have fluoride varnish applied again. The recommended amount of fluoride varnish applications is once every three months, however it will not harm your child to have it applied between visits to the dentist as well.
What if my child is already taking fluoride supplements?
The fluoride we provide is different than the supplements your child is already taking. Fluoride varnish is directly applied to the teeth to strengthen them and to help prevent cavities.
How is fluoride varnish different from my child’s fluoride supplements?
Fluoride varnish is “topical” and supplements are “systemic”. Topical fluoride, like varnish is applied directly to the surface of the teeth to help strengthen the teeth that are already present in the mouth. Systemic fluoride is ingested and helps in the development of the teeth that have not grown in yet.