• Contact Us

    Oral Health Improvement Program
    MC 1818
    PO Box 149347 Austin, Texas 78714-9347
    1100 West 49th Street
    Austin, Texas 78756

    Phone: 512-776-2008
    Fax: 512-776-7256

    Email comments or questions

School Nurses and Administrators

Did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease? 67% of Texas third graders have experienced tooth decay. Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to:

  • infection;
  • pain; and
  • missed school.

Basic Screening Survey of Texas Children Begins Fall 2022

The Texas Oral Health Basic Screening Survey begins in the 2022-2023 school year. To learn more, visit our Oral Health by the Numbers page. 

Texas children need you!

School nurses can help combat this chronic and very treatable disease by hosting a Smiles in Schools event and integrating oral health education into school health programs.

Smiles in Schools (SiS)

SiS is a state public health program. Licensed dental professionals can visit your campus with mobile dental equipment. There is no cost for the school and children receive preventative dental services at no cost. Parents receive a results form after their child's screening. The results form helps parents understand the dental needs of their child and tells them what to do next. Watch this video to learn more.Smiles in Schools Video

Preventative services include:

  • oral health education;
  • dental screening;
  • dental sealants; and 
  • fluoride varnish.


Note: Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) promotes the Dental Home. Services provided by DSHS regional dental teams do not replace regular visits to the dentist. 

Interested in hosting an SiS dental clinic?

The school nurse plays a pivotal role in the success of SiS clinics. Regional dental teams need the assistance of the school nurse or another staff member to get permission forms from parents. The forms help the team to prepare for the clinic so that it is quick and efficient. Contact your regional dental team to start planning a SiS dental clinic. Visit the SiS page for more information.

Nurses: Watch this video to learn more about oral health and what you need to do to host an SiS event.

Parents: Watch this video to learn more about how your child can participate. A signed form is required to receive services.
 school videoparent video 

SiS Nurse Toolkit

The SiS toolkit contains resources to answer your questions and make the process simple. The toolkit includes:

Other Ways To Promote Good Oral Health

  • Display dental health posters.
  • Work with school administrators and parents to provide healthy food and drinks in school vending machines.
  • Make oral health a part of health classes. Teach students how to brush, floss, and make healthy food and drink choices.

Helpful Links

Last updated March 25, 2022