In 2012, The North Dakota Department of Health, Oral Health Program implemented the SEAL!ND School-based Fluoride Varnish and Dental Sealant Program. Public health dental hygienists visit schools two times a year (fall and spring) and provide direct preventive services, under a standing order of a dentist. Services include oral health education, a dental screening, and dental sealant and fluoride varnish application. A parent/guardian signed consent form is required to participate in the SEAL!ND fluoride varnish and dental sealant program. An oral hygiene bag consisting of a result sheet (what the child had done), toothbrush, toothpaste and floss will be provided to each child that is seen. In addition to SEAL!ND, supported by the North Dakota Department of Health, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, in partnership with Bridging the Dental Gap, also provides an oral health prevention program and has participated in a school-based sealant program in the past.

What is a Dental Sealant?

Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating that is placed on the chewing surfaces of the teeth, typically the back teeth. The process to apply the sealants is quick and easy with the whole procedure taking roughly 10 minutes. Sealants prevent cavities by creating a barrier between the teeth and cavity-causing bacteria. Sealants also stop cavities from growing and can prevent the need for fillings. Dental sealants prevent 80% of cavities in the back teeth, where 9 in 10 cavities occur.

The ease of dental sealant and fluoride varnish application makes them a perfect fit for the school environment.

Access helpful infographics and learn more about How Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 


What is Fluoride Varnish?

Fluoride varnish is a topical fluoride that helps prevent the teeth from cavities and can prevent the need for dental fillings. If cavities are in the early stages, the fluoride can slow or even stop the cavity process which can save time, money and the discomfort that is sometimes associated with a filling. Fluoride varnish is a protective coating that is painted on the teeth to help prevent cavities and to help slow or stop cavities that have just started. The entire process is fast, painless and takes less than five minutes to apply. Fluoride varnish can also be applied in primary care settings by other medical professionals. 

Access helpful infographics and learn more about Fluoride Varnish and other Fluoride Products from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If interested in training around fluoride application in any setting, access the free Smiles for Life Training, Caries Risk Assessment, Fluoride Varnish and Counseling.

Evaluation Reports & Reach of SEAL!ND

The North Dakota Oral Health Program works with external evaluators to assess various components of their program. Following are evaluation reports that have been completed assessing the impact of SEAL!ND and other school-based dental sealants programs in North Dakota. 

Sealant Info

Brief | Impact and Reach of SEAL!ND: 2019-2020 School Year
Brief | North Dakota School Personnel's Experience with SEAL!ND 2019-2020 School Year
Infographic | North Dakota School-Based Sealant Programs: 2019-2020
Factsheet | Progress and Reach of the SEAL!ND Program: School Year 2018-2019
Report | North Dakota Department of Health, Oral Health Program NOFO DP18-1810 Year Two Evaluation Report
Report | Evaluation of SEAL!ND: School Year 2019-2020

Resources for Schools & Dental Providers Interested in SEAL!ND

Schools or dental providers in North Dakota who are interested in participating in SEAL!ND should contact Toni Hruby, Prevention Coordinator at the North Dakota Department of Health Oral Health Program. 

Toni Hruby
Oral Health Prevention Coordinator
Phone: 701-328-4515