Dental & Oral Health

Did you know that good oral health improves your overall health? Dental health is tied to the improvement of all health outcomes for all ages.

Oral health affects our ability to eat, speak, smile, and show emotion. Poor oral health affects self-esteem, school performance, and attendance at work or school. Oral diseases-which range from cavities and gum disease to oral cancer-cause pain and disability for millions of Coloradans each year. The SJBPH Regional Oral Health Specialist program serves La Plata, Archuleta, Montezuma, San Juan, and Dolores counties, and aims to improve oral health outcomes for all residents.

Mother and Daughter Brushing Teeth

The School-Based Oral Health Program is funded in partnership with Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment and provides preventative dental services to children ranging from pre-k to high school. Southwest Colorado has many rural communities where access to dental care is limited and numerous barriers to care exist. By providing these services at school, parents and guardians do not have to take time off work, and students spend less time away from school. 

Services are provided by a Registered Dental Hygienist and include:

  • Oral Health Instruction - Education on brushing, flossing, and healthy habits
  • Dental Screening and Referrals - A hygienist will evaluate the teeth and soft tissue for decay and other dental needs and make referrals as necessary. This is not intended to replace regular visits to the dentist, but rather to supplement them. Screenings at an early age help children become more comfortable with the dentist.
  • Fluoride Varnish - Fluoride varnish is a dental treatment that can help prevent tooth decay. It is painted on the teeth with a small brush and takes only a few seconds to apply. Fluoride varnish can decrease cavities by 33% and has been proven to be safe and effective.
  • Sealants - Sealants are a thin plastic coating placed on permanent molars around ages 6 and 12 to seal grooves and pits, and form a barrier against decay. Applying dental sealants to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth can prevent cavities by 80%.
  • Dental Cleaning - Dental cleanings, also called prophylaxis, are an important part of your child's oral health and can help prevent gum disease when combined with proper brushing and flossing.

For more information on our School-Based Oral Health Program, please contact our Regional Oral Health Specialist/Registered Dental Hygienist at: 970-585-6130.

Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities