About the Children's Dental Health Project

The Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) is an independent nonprofit that advances evidence-based and cost-effective solutions to improve the oral health of children and their families. Tooth decay is the #1 chronic disease of early childhood. Research shows that early intervention and risk-based treatment can reduce cavities, pain and suffering, and the cost of care.

CDHP connects rigorous policy analysis with collaboration and advocacy to support prevention, treatment, and access to care for all children. We partner with leaders in government, health, advocacy, dentistry and the dental industry, to:

  • Prevent dental caries, the disease that causes tooth decay.
  • Promote solutions grounded in the best available research and support exploration where evidence is lacking.
  • Help policymakers explore evidence-based, cost-effective approaches to achieve oral health for all children.

Our approach: Unbiased, innovative, effective.

We investigate and promote cost-effective strategies to prevent and manage childhood tooth decay, and advocates for related policy changes, and: 

  • Work closely with federal and state agencies to improve the delivery of oral health care through Medicaid and CHIP.
  • Lead multi-partner advocacy efforts to for policy change, including the naming of pediatric dental services an Essential Health Benefit under the Affordable Care Act and to mandate a dental benefit in the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • Collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and many partners to develop innovative tools, analyses, and other resources for states. Resources include FLUID (fluidlaw.org), a comprehensive database of federal and state community water fluoridation policies.
  • Promote a healthy start for infants and their oral health by supporting dental care guidelines for pregnant women.

Our current funders

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, DentaQuest Foundation, Michigan Department of Community Health, Health Foundation of Western and Central New York, New York State Health Foundation, Connecticut Health Foundation, Advantage Dental, California Dental Association, Henry Schein Cares, and more.



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Did you know?

$38 }
Communities save $38 for every $1 spent to fluoridate public drinking water.
More on the state of dental health ›