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Oral Health

Oral Health


The Oral Health Program at the Benton Franklin Health District provides a variety of preventive and educational services including: classroom oral health education; oral health in services for teachers, nurses, physicians, and others; fluoride prescription information; coordination of the ABCD program (access to Baby and Child Dentistry) and dental screening and referrals for pregnant women in our First Steps program.  The Oral Health Program also coordinates with the school based dental sealant program in Benton and Franklin counties. Program staff also participates in the Benton Franklin Oral Health Coalition, the Benton Franklin Community Health Alliance and the Washington Dental Service Foundation's Cavity Free Kids program. The mission of these groups is to provide avenues for oral health care and preventive dental services to the citizens of Benton and Franklin Counties.



The Tooth Tutor oral health curriculum is available to be checked out by school teachers. The Tooth Tutor is a K-5 program that includes overhead materials, classroom activities, information letters to send to parents, and tooth trivia. To find out more about the Tooth Tutor


ABCD Coordinator:
Lauren Spilles, RDH
(509) 460 4254


Commonly asked questions about fluoride:





Maximum Protection

Against Cavities

A: Sealants Protect
The Chewing Surfaces

B: Fluoride Protects
The Smooth Surfaces

  1. How does fluoride work?
    Fluoride works in two ways--Topically (toothpaste, rinses, gels) by strengthening teeth already present in the mouth making them more decay resistant, and Systemically (in water, drops, tablets) by being ingested into the body and becoming part of the forming teeth. Fluoride in drinking water also helps protect adults from cavities on the roots of teeth.
  2. How long has fluoridated water been around?
    Fluoride occurs naturally in ground water so it has been around forever. However, Grand Rapids, Michigan was the first community in the US/world to fluoridate their community drinking water. This happened on January 1, 1945 (over 50 years ago)!!
  3. When should children start taking fluoride supplements?
    At the age of six months if they are not receiving fluoride by any other means (ie: formula, drinking water, etc.) Check with your pediatrician or dentist to find out if fluoride supplements are right for your child. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends continuing fluoride supplements until the age of 16.
  4. If my child uses fluoride toothpaste or receives a treatment at the dentist, why use supplements?
    Toothpaste and dental treatments are topical and only protect the outer surfaces. To receive the benefit of fluoride "inside" the tooth as it forms you need systemic fluoride like that in supplements or fluoridated drinking water.

Seal Out Decay!!!

Sealants are thin, tooth-colored, plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth (molars). Sealants prevent tooth decay (cavities) by preventing plaque bacteria from getting in the deep grooves on the chewing surface of molars. The Benton Franklin Health District coordinates with a school based sealant program that provides preventive dental services  to many of the schools in Benton and Franklin counties.


If your child goes to one of the schools participating, look for them to bring home a yellow permission slip and information about sealants. Contact your school nurse.


Watch Your Mouth - Citizens' Watch for Kids' Oral Health

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Benton Franklin Health District
7102 W Okanogan Pl
Kennewick WA
(509) 460 4200
412 W Clark
Pasco WA
(509) 547-9737

Emergency Contact Information

Personal Emergency for Medical, Police, Fire, or Other: 911
Washington Poison Center: 1 (800) 222-1222 (www.wapc.org)
Washington Community Resource Information: 211 (www.win211.org)
BFHD Public Health Emergency/Imminent Health Hazard After-Hours Reporting: 509-543-3851
The public can reference BFHD policies available in Kennewick office.
BFHD Privacy Statement:English / Spanish
Copies of the annual report available at all BFHD offices.
State and County Resources
Rules and Regulations Administered by or Governing the Benton-Franklin Health District
WAC's - RCW's
Community Health Status Indicators
Reportable Conditions
Contact: info(at)bfhd.wa.gov                                                                                                                             Employees