Health Department: Kids reminded during Dental Health Month to 'Swish and Smile'

The Carroll County Health Department’s Oral Health Program, with its partners the Maryland Department of Health, Office of Oral Health and the American Dental Association is proud to announce February as National Children’s Dental Health Month. This year’s focus is, “Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth for a healthy smile.”

The emphasis of the campaign is to promote brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing between teeth.


The Carroll County Health Department along with the Carroll County Public Schools sponsor a fluoride rinse program called “Swish and Smile” in all county elementary schools and middle schools that are not serviced by municipal water that is fluoridated at no cost to the students or their families.

In addition to recommending the use of fluoride, the Carroll County Health Department Oral Health Program works with our community in a variety of other ways to promote good oral health.

Our dental clinic is seeing children under the age of 18 and appointments are available for those who qualify with Maryland Healthy Smiles insurance.

Dental disease can be transmitted from family members to children, so it is important for mothers to maintain their oral health to aid in prevention of dental decay in their children

Young children that don’t even have teeth yet need to have their mouths cleaned on a daily basis and those who have even one tooth should see the dentist for an evaluation and discussion regarding diet and oral cleaning routines.

We are now seeing pregnant women with Maryland Healthy Smiles insurance. Dental decay is a problem during pregnancy and good oral health care helps the mother have a healthier pregnancy and healthier baby.

Older adults with financial limitations are not left out of our programs. We have a program called “Dental Access” in which a person who falls below the 185 percent of the Federal Poverty level, is over the age of 60, has no dental insurance and lives in Carroll County can qualify for a 35 percent discount at their local dentist.

Good oral health and good general health go hand in hand. The Health Department is working with local dentists to help identify those citizens who may have high blood pressure without knowing it and referring them to a physician for evaluation and treatment. We also help local dentists with the referral of those who are currently using tobacco products and wish to quit.

There are many online resources available for families to learn more about dental health. Adults and children can visit the Maryland Office of Oral Health website at for downloadable information, activity sheets, brochures, resources and interactive games Other helpful resources are found at from the American Dental Association and from the Maryland Dental Action Coalition.

For further information about any of our Health Department programs, please call 410-876-4852 or for a clinic appointment call 410-876-4918.

David A. Williams, D.D.S., M.S., M.P.H., is the manager of the Oral Health Program at the Carroll County Health Department.