Department of Public Health

Dental Health Services

Kindergarten Oral Health Assessments | "Miles of Smiles" | Sealant Program | Fluoride Varnish Program | Oral Health Education | Advocacy | Health Insurance Options | Resources

Oral Health Promotion Goals

Goal #1 - Increase access to school-based Oral Health Disease Prevention Programs for targeted 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.

Goal #4 - Increase access to care for at risk- adults in Ottawa County.

Kindergarten Oral Health Assessments

In 2023, the State of Michigan created the Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment Program (KOHA) to improve school readiness and success, identify children with unmet dental needs, and refer them for treatment. The goal of the KOHA program is to guarantee every first year student receives a free dental screening before starting the school year. The screening should be completed within six months of the first day of school.

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information, contact:

Kacie Elzinga, RDH, BSDH
Oral Health Team Supervisor
(616) 494-5540

To schedule a free dental health assessment at OCDPH (April-August), call:

English (616) 396-5266
Español (616) 393-5780

Miles of Smiles (MOS) Mobile Dental Unit

The MOS mobile unit provides on-site preventive and restorative dental services for financially qualifying uninsured and Medicaid insured Ottawa County residents. Services are provided at schools, Head Start Centers, Ottawa County Department of Public Health clinics, migrant camps and sites for dentally underserved children and adults. The 40 foot mobile unit is equipped with a waiting area, laboratory, two operatories, digital x-ray and a wheel chair lift.

Funding for the MOS program is provided by state grants and foundations, local foundations, donations and county support. Available dental services for children are made possible by a volunteer network of more than 100 dentists, hygienists and Grand Rapids Community College dental hygiene students. MOS has received several commendations for its innovative approach to address major health problems and increase access to direct patient care for qualifying Ottawa County children.

To determine eligibility, please call (616) 393-5694 or (800) 467-5905.

School-based Sealant Program

SEAL! Michigan is a school-based sealant program targeting second, sixth, and seventh grade children. All services are provided within qualifying schools using portable dental equipment. This prevention focused program offers:

  • classroom oral hygiene education
  • screenings by a registered dental hygienist who will determine if the student has teeth that require dental sealants
  • sealant placement
  • follow-up checks to determine the retention of dental sealants
  • referrals for students that require further dental services.

Dental sealant diagram

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.

To determine eligibility, please call (616) 494-5540.

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

Child with ToothbrushThis 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”.


  • Michigan Donated Dental Services (DDS) Program - Provides comprehensive dental treatment to individuals who have no other means of obtaining necessary dental treatment. Click for eligibility requirements and application
  • My Community Dental Centers - The Ottawa County Department of Public Health partners with My Community Dental Centers Inc. (MCDC) to provide greater access to dental care in Ottawa County. The center, located at 801 South Beacon Boulevard in Grand Haven, provides quality dental care to all children and adults enrolled in Medicaid, Healthy Kids Dental, Healthy Michigan Plan and private dental insurance. MCDC also offers MyDental Program (MyDP) for people without dental insurance, which provides reduced fees based on household income. New Patients may register by calling (877) 313-6232 or visit
Additional Dental Resources

Holland Free Health Clinic - A Healing Ministry of Jesus Christ
InterCare Community Health Network
MCDC - My Community Dental Centers