The Oral Health Outreach Program was designed to provide
oral health education and resources to low-income
children in the 9 counties along the Eastern Shore of
Maryland. Dental education is brought to elementary
schools, daycare centers, and community events via the
"Tooth Fairy's Helper."
The following organizations have helped the oral outreach
program in its effectiveness:
Dental education and outreach in elementary schools,
daycare centers, adult medical daycare facilities,
special needs schools, and community events via the Tooth
Dental care kits for children that include a
toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, Maryland Office of
Oral Health brochures for parents, and a resource list of
Choptank Community Health's dental offices.
Dental care kits are distributed to pregnant women
through the Dorchester County Health department.
Over 35,000 children have received oral health education
through the Tooth Fairy's Helper school presentations
since 2006, averaging 5,000 annually for the past several
Results from the 2018-2019 school year include:
171 presentations done by Tooth Fairy's Helper
6,151 total participants
5,234 students educated
5,234 dental kits distributed
38 schools visited (32 were
The Eastern Shore AHEC has received countless testimonies
from teachers about parents taking action to better their
children's oral health because of the Tooth Fairy's
In 2015-2016, surveys were distributed to teachers and
students for evaluation of the Tooth Fairy's Helper
presentations. These surveys were designed to provide
baseline data regarding the effectiveness of the
presentations, giving credibility for the Oral Health
Outreach Program to qualify for evidence-based ranking.
Initially, lack of cooperation from teachers and
principals in some schools has been the main difficulty
experienced by the Oral Health Outreach Program. This may
have been due to staff turnover, skepticism, a multitude
of programs already scheduled for the classrooms, or
simply a lack of experience with the program. Once they
saw the enthusiasm from the students and positive
results, it became easier to secure future dates for
annual Tooth Fairy's Helper presentations.
Communities wishing to replicate this program should
listen to the needs of their particular community,
Understand how your geographic area affects access to
Understand the health status and demographics of your
Recognize and utilize resources that already exist.
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information
about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The
programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s
needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep
in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.