Nurse’s Fluoride Varnish Program

The Tennessee Department of Health, Oral Health Services developed a medical-dental partnership to address dental disparities in the youngest of Tennesseans.  Fluoride varnish is applied by nurses to children seen in our medical clinics.  The services are targeted to children birth to five years of age, but are available to all through age 20. 

This program targets regular Early and Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) visits with children at risk for early childhood caries (ECC). In the first year of life, a child may visit a health care professional as many as six times as a part of EPSDT. Nurses and nurse practitioners can deliver preventive oral health services to children during these visits, as well as educate their parents or caregivers about keeping children’s teeth healthy. These visits provide an opportunity for children to receive dental screenings, the application of fluoride varnish, and early dental referrals. Because many children do not access dental care until there is a need or until school-age, this program now allows many children to receive a preventive service they might not have otherwise received.  Referrals for regularly scheduled dental visits and for needed dental treatment are a part of the program. Nurse’s Fluoride Varnish Program training and Guide are available by clicking here:

This program is offered in all 95 county health departments.  For a state-wide map of all county health departments, click here.