The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing funding to 20 states to strengthen their oral health programs and improve the oral health of their residents. The following states will receive approximately $6.8 million over the next year:
The cooperative agreements range from $235,000 to $355,000 per year and are renewable through fiscal year 2013. The funding is designed to improve state oral health services. Those services include monitoring oral diseases and implementing and evaluating disease prevention programs such as community water fluoridation and school-based sealant programs.
State-Based Programs Crucial to National Oral Health
Strong state-based programs are critical to the nation's oral health. Despite national improvements in oral health, significant dental disease exists across all age groups. This is especially true for those with lower incomes and lower educational levels, and for people from some racial and ethnic groups. CDC support provides additional opportunities to educate residents about the importance of oral health and effective preventive measures, to identify communities with the greatest unmet dental needs, and to develop state plans to improve oral health and address disparities. CDC anticipates that funded states will be able to increase policies and programs that prevent oral diseases.
Increasing Policies and Programs to Prevent Oral Disease
Through its work with the Association of State and Territorial Disease Directors, state oral health programs, and national experts, CDC has established eight essential components for developing and enhancing the infrastructure and capacity of state oral health programs. These eight components are—
- Oral health program leadership.
- A surveillance system to monitor oral diseases and a report on the state's burden of oral disease.
- A state oral health plan.
- A statewide oral health coalition and strong partnerships to increase program resources.
- Evidence-based prevention programs including community water fluoridation and school-based sealant programs.
- Policy and health systems strategies.
- Collaboration with other state chronic disease programs.
- Program evaluation.
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