Oral Health Program


The Kentucky Oral Health Program (KOHP) has a long, proud history with the Kentucky Department for Public Health. In 1928, Kentucky became​ the third state in the nation with a public dental health program. The KOHP offers a variety of programs and services to help the citizens of Kentucky achieve optimal oral health for a lifetime of smiles. These programs and services include, but are not limited to, fluoride supplements, fluoride varnishes and hygiene services. 

Study Your SIP! Good drinking water includes fluoride.​​

The Kentucky Oral Health Branch Study Your SIP initiative is offering free fluoride supplements to children in Kentucky without access to optimally fluoridated drinking water.

Did you know?

  • ​​Fluoride is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay
  • Drinking fluoridated water reduces tooth decay by 25% in children
  • Drinking fluoridated water means fewer missed days of school   

​​​​​​​Fluoride helps build stronger teeth as they develop, and it keeps tooth enamel strong and resistant to cavities forever.  Fluoride is the most effective way to reduce tooth decay.  In Kentucky, the fluoride content of a community's tap water (i.e., city water/public water company) is controlled and adjusted to an optimal level to prevent and protect from tooth decay.  If your child does not drink tap water (i.e., city water/public water company) for the majority of their drinking water source, your child may not have this protection.  If you are unsure if your drinking water is optimally fluoridated, Study Your SIP to find out:

Image of Study Your SIP Flyer

Study Your SIP Flyer ​

Click HERE​ to order your free water test today! ​

Community Water Fluoridation

In 1951, the KOHP began its first community water fluoridation efforts in Maysville. Community water fluoridation has continued successfully since then. Today, 217 fluoridated communities serve nearly 95 percent of the state's population, making Kentucky a national leader. Fluoridation is mandatory (KRS 211.190; KAR 902 115.010) for community water supplies serving populations of 3,000 or more. Community water supplies serving fewer than 1,500 users may voluntarily fluoridate and most do.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about your water supply. To find out more, go to My Water Fluoride webpage.

Kentucky Public Health Dental Hygiene Program

This school-based hygiene program provides dental care by a registered dental hygienist to advance the oral health of students and contribute to the well-being, academic success and lifelong achievement of students. Currently nine local health departments and/or districts participate in this program with an average of 10,000 children seen per year.

KIDS SMILE - Fluoride Varnish Program

Fluoride varnishes primarily are applied to prevent tooth decay among pediatric patients at a high risk. The KOHP provides funding for fluoride varnish programs in local health departments and offers training to local health department nurses in the areas of oral health screening and fluoride varnish application. Individuals who benefit most from this program include children ages 0 - 5 years with a family history of decay, low levels of fluoride in their drinking water or limited access to dental care.

Other Programs Offered

  • Fluoride Supplement Program -supplies fluoride supplements to those whose home water supply is low in fluoride with children who are still forming adult teeth.
  • Rural School Fluoridation Program - supplies fluoridated water to rural schools not served by a fluoridated water source.
  • Kentucky Sealant Program - recognizes the pattern of identifying children at high risk for dental decay in schools with a high percentage of free/reduced lunch participants.

Kentucky Oral Health Coalitions

In recent years the KOHP received federal grants that helped 24 Kentucky counties create community coalitions aimed at improving dental health among children and adults. Many communities still have coalitions that address oral health and some have been incorporated into their Healthy Communities coalitions that include several focus areas of health.


Contact Information