Powering prevention

By the CDHP team

The power of prevention begins with parents. Two new projects aim to strengthen how oral health care is delivered to better meet parents’ needs.

The Children's Dental Health Project is thrilled to have been awarded a cooperative agreement from HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau to support its Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement Initiative. This three-year project, the National Network for Perinatal Oral Health, is designed to support states in improving the oral health of pregnant women and infants. This project is a consortium of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, the Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors, and the National Academy for State Health Policy and is being led by CDHP’s new Senior Program Manager, Shakira Pollard.

The National Network is already working closely with — and learning from — state leaders in Connecticut, New York and West Virginia. The Network is expanding. Our friends at OHRC have posted relevant links and information here.

Reducing children’s risk of serious tooth decay is the focus of another exciting three-year initiative. CDHP founder and Senior Fellow in Public Policy Burton Edelstein, DDS, MPH is principal investigator in a project to improve children’s oral health and their dental care experience at reduced cost by applying principles of chronic disease management to pediatric dentistry.

Funding was awarded to Columbia University by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation for a project that will use "family-level, peer-counseled, and technology-assisted behavioral risk reduction strategies [to help] divert young children with early- and advanced-stage early childhood caries (ECC) from high-cost surgical dental facilities to low-cost non-surgical disease management." We applaud the CMS Innovation Center for adding “children at high risk for dental disease” as a priority population in health care innovation awards earlier this year.

Both projects have great potential to inform the field about opportunities to limit the damaging effects of preventable tooth decay. We will share what we learn. 

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Did you know?

75% }
of American Indian/Alaskan Native children have experienced caries by age 5.
More on the state of dental health ›