The benefits of a school-based plaque removal program are presented. Children in grades 5-8 were included in a study which was designed to determine the effect on oral hygiene, gingival inflammation and dental caries of removing dental plaque through supervised daily flossing and toothbrushing in school. A fluoride-free dentifrice was used. Controls did not receive instruction in plaque removal procedures nor did they engage in plaque removal activities at school. For three school years the students in the treatment group practiced daily plaque removal, supervised by trained personnel. All participants were examined initially for plaque (PHP), gingival inflammation (DHC) and dental caries (DMFS). Girls in the treatment group showed a significant reduction (28%) in mean plaque scores and, for girls and boys, the mean changes in gingivitis scores were significantly reduced (40% and 17%, respectively). Adjusted mean incremental DMF surface scores were 13 % lower in the treatment group than in the control group. The difference between groups was not statistically significant and was accounted for entirely by the findings in mesial and distal surfaces (26%). This difference approached statistical significance (P= 0.07).