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Department of Public Health

Dental Health Services

"Miles of Smiles" | Sealant Program | Fluoride Varnish Program
Oral Health Education | Advocacy | Fact Sheet

Oral Health Promotion Goals

Goal #1:Increase access to school-based Oral Disease Prevention Programs for dentally at-risk children in Ottawa County.

Goal #2: Reduce dental disease for children that are provided dental services on the Miles of Smiles mobile dental unit.

Goal #3: Provide Ottawa County elementary schools and Head Start Centers with oral health education and resources.

Miles of Smiles Mobile Dental Unit

Miles of Smiles mobile unit provides on-site dental services for qualifying low-income, uninsured; Medicaid insured; and MIChild participating children at schools, Head Start Centers, Department of Public Health clinics, migrant camps and sites for dentally underserved children. The Miles of Smiles mobile unit design includes a waiting area, laboratory, two operatories, sound insulated rooms, digital x-ray and a wheel chair lift. The unit is equipped to provide preventative and restorative dental services for children and adults. A volunteer network of over 100 dentists, hygienists and students provide assistance on Miles of Smiles. The initiative is made possible through State grants, local foundations, donations, State foundations and County support. Miles of Smiles has been awarded several commendations for its innovative approach in addressing a major health problem for qualifying uninsured and Medicaid insured Ottawa County children. Fill out the application below to see if you qualify for Miles of Smiles services.

Miles of Smiles Application (English)

Miles of Smiles Application (Spanish)

SEAL! Michigan School-based Sealant Program

SEAL! Michigan is a school-based sealant program targeting second and sixth grade children. All services are provided within qualifying schools using portable dental equipment. This prevention focused program offers: screenings by a dentist or dental hygienist who will determine if the student has teeth that require dental sealants; sealant placement; classroom oral hygiene education; follow-up checks to determine the retention of dental sealants; and referrals for students that require further dental services. A dental sealant is a white liquid that is painted on the grooves of the back teeth (molars) and hardens to prevent or seal out decay. Sealants have been proven to reduce tooth decay by more than 70 percent, resulting in lower dental treatment costs and healthier children.

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health Dental Program was the only County in Michigan to receive grant funding to develop a model program that will be implemented in communities across the State. Congratulations to our Dental Program for receiving an award for 7 years of dedication to the SEAL! Michigan Dental Sealant Program. (Andrea Whittaker on right and Kacie Elzinga on left).

Fluoride Varnish Program

Tooth decay is the most common (five times more prevalent than asthma) and preventable chronic disease of childhood. Children as young as 12-18 months can experience early childhood caries (tooth decay). The Fluoride Varnish Program services Early Head Start and Head Start children, ages 0-4, in Ottawa County. The program provides dental screenings and fluoride varnish to these children.

Fluoride varnish is a protective coating that is painted on teeth to help prevent new cavities and to help stop cavities that have already started. The “paint on” fluoride varnish is sticky, so it adheres to the teeth easily and makes the outer layer (enamel) of the teeth more resistant to decay. The American Dental Association (ADA) considers fluoride varnish to be a safe and effective as part of a caries prevention program.

Oral Health Education

This program has been designed to educate school children grades K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd about the importance of proper oral health habits and provide programming that will motivate them to practice these habits throughout their lifetime. Program materials are disseminated to the teachers of K, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classes in Ottawa County Schools via email. The program supplies the education materials to the teachers to properly educate their students on oral healthcare. Interactive materials are utilized that make it fun for the students to learn. The dental health materials will allow the teachers to help their students become aware that with proper personal and professional care, their teeth can last a lifetime.


The Oral Health Promotion Program's legislative involvement has assisted in securing continued funding for Ottawa County dental programs. Statewide involvement in legislative efforts has successfully impacted legislation resulting in an expansion of dental services to at-risk, underserved populations. The Oral Health Promotion Program also assisted in the creation of the Michigan Oral Health Coalition and participated in the development of the "Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Michigan”. The Oral Health Promotion Program staff also holds leadership positions within the Michigan Public Health Association.

12251 James Street
Holland, MI 49424
Phone: (616) 396-5266
FAX: (616) 393-5643
Clinic FAX: (616) 393-5659
Monday - Friday:
8:00am - 5:00pm

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Other Locations

Grand Haven
1207 South Beechtree Street
Suite B
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Phone: (616) 846-8360
Fax: (616) 844-1778
Monday: 8am-6pm
Wednesday: 8am-5pm
Friday: by appointment only
Closed: 12pm-1pm

3100 Port Sheldon Road
Hudsonville, MI 49426
Phone: (616) 669-0040
FAX: (616) 669-3039
Monday, Wednesday, Friday:
8am-12pm & 1pm-5pm