Healthy Communities

Office of Oral Health

Statewide Initiatives | Programs & Services | Reports & Data SourcesPartnership Opportunities |
Information for Individuals, Families, and Providers


The ADH Office of Oral Health’s (OOH) mission is to promote life-long, optimum oral health for all Arkansans through primary prevention, education, accessible and culturally competent community-based oral health care, and informed policy development.

Good oral health is important to your overall health. 

Oral diseases vary widely from cavities to gum disease to oral cancer. They can lead to speech problems, pain while eating, and disability. Oral health has been linked with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and pre-term and/or low birth weight babies. 

Dental decay and periodontal diseases are both preventable. A healthy smile can last a lifetime with healthy habits, such as brushing, flossing, smart food choices, and dental visits. Learn more at the American Dental Association’s website, Mouth Healthy.


Statewide Initiatives 

Dental Hygiene Collaborative Care
Act 89 of 2011 established the Dental Hygienist Collaborative Care (DHCC) program. This allows registered dental hygienists who work under collaborative care permits with licensed dentists to deliver preventive dental services in a public setting to underserved children and older adults. These settings include schools that meet eligible free-and-reduced meal (FARM) tiers, long-term care facilities and other adult congregate care facilities. Hygienists wishing to practice DHCC in conjunction with their consulting dentist must apply for permits from both the ADH OOH and the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners.

Key Points:

Applications and Downloads:

Community Water Fluoridation Maintenance and Support

Under the State Actions to Improve Oral Health Outcomes grant (DP-1810), the ADH OOH helps community water systems maintain optimum fluoridation levels by reimbursing the cost of equipment necessary for the fluoridation process. This includes pumps, digital scales, personal protective equipment, and more. Arkansas water systems that may need support for fluoridation equipment repair or replacement can fill out a request form here.

Helpful information for Water Operators:


Programs & Services

Paint-A-Smile: Fluoride Varnish

The Paint-A-Smile program trains medical professionals to perform oral health risk assessments, oral health screenings, and education, and apply fluoride varnish in clinical settings to close the gap that exists for children who do not have regular access to comprehensive dental care.  This program also helps meet the National Standard of Care for up to four fluoride varnish applications per year for high-risk children.

The program goals are to:

Training for Medical Providers

To start applying fluoride varnish in your office, please email us at to schedule a free training.

This training will provide your office with:

You can also become certified to apply fluoride varnish and receive free CE through the Smiles for Life online training course “Caries Risk Assessment, Fluoride Varnish, and Counseling.”

School-Based Sealant Clinic Funding

Dental sealants are thin coatings that--when painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars)--can prevent dental decay for many years. School sealant programs are an effective way to reach children with dental sealants to prevent cavities. These programs provide pit and fissure sealants to children—generally aged 6 to 11 years—using portable equipment in a school setting.

Once applied, sealants protect against 80 percent of cavities for two years and continue to protect against 50 percent of cavities for up to four years. Dental sealants work best when applied to children who are at the highest risk of tooth decay.


Reports & Data Sources

The ADH Office of Oral Health reviews or collects data from a variety of sources, both national and state levels. Oral health reports and data are helpful tools to:

3rd Grade Basic Screening (BSS) Report

Dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the United States. Children with untreated decay can experience dental pain and infections that can impact their overall health, such as issues with eating, speaking, playing, and learning. The OOH routinely evaluates oral health conditions among 3rd-grade students about every five years. The survey provides oral health advocates, researchers, policymakers, and government officials with valuable information for future programs and recommendations.

Oral Health Data Deck

The purpose of the Oral Health Data Deck is to provide a comprehensive set of graphs and charts on the impacts of oral health preventative practices and risk factors. This project provides oral health-related data to program staff, organizations, and the public. The charts and graphs can be copied for use in other presentations or reports.

Arkansas Oral Health Surveillance System (AOHSS)

The AOHSS was established within the OOH in 2007 and a new AOHSS plan was prepared in 2019 through the CDC 1810 cooperative agreement. The surveillance plan represents a joint effort of OOH resources from epidemiology, health statistics, and other state and national sources. The surveillance system is designed to collect data on oral health indicators based on available sources and surveillance capacity. It plays a significant role in assessing the burden of oral diseases, the use of oral health care delivery systems, and the status of community water fluoridation.

Arkansas All-Payer Claims Database (APCD)

The Arkansas All-Payer Claims Database (APCD) is a large-scale database that systematically collects health/oral health care data from a variety of sources. This database helps the ADH OOH understand how and where oral healthcare is being delivered and how much is being spent.

The National Oral Health Data Portal

The National Oral Health Data Portal consolidates most of the important oral health data sources in one place for people from all levels of oral health and data literacy. It includes data on oral health status, attitudes, cost, utilization of care, and access to care.

Partnership Opportunities

The ADH OOH supports a number of outreach events and provides educational materials to partners statewide. The goal is to support efforts that incorporate oral health in overall health improvement efforts. The ADH OOH seeks to establish partnerships and collaborations with individuals and organizations who have shared goals to improve access to oral health care, increase oral health education, and foster a culture of optimum oral health across the state.

We encourage you to contact us at or call 501-280-4111 for more information.


Information for Individuals, Families, and Providers



Address Phone

Oral Health

4815 W. Markham Street, Slot 18
Little Rock, AR 72205





Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
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4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867