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Oral Health Strategic Plan for 2011–2014

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of 13 major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CDC's Oral Health Program is located within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP). The CDC's current (FY 2010) budget for oral health activities is approximately $14.4 million. Over the past decade, a gradual but steady rise in the level of funding has allowed CDC to implement and expand several initiatives.

CDC initiated a cooperative agreement program, called the State-based Oral Disease Prevention Program, in FY 2001. This program provides financial support and technical assistance to state oral health programs to help them strengthen their capacity to provide oral health promotion and disease prevention programs. The initial cycle of the cooperative agreement program provided support to 12 states and the Republic of Palau; the second cycle, which began in 2008, initially provided funding to 16 states. In 2010, a modest increase in CDC's budget allowed the agency to fund three additional states. See CDC Funded States.

In addition, CDC has cooperative agreements with the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) and the Children's Dental Health Project (CDHP) to provide assistance and tools that can be used by state and community oral health programs and oral health coalitions to strengthen their programs. As resources permit, the Oral Health Program will seek to expand these cooperative agreements and develop formalized relationships with other national organizations in order to promote and accomplish our mission, priorities, goals, and objectives.

Over the past decade, CDC also has focused on improving the data systems available through its Web site. In 1999, CDC implemented the Water Fluoridation Reporting System (WFRS), an Internet-based tool to help state fluoridation managers monitor the quality of water fluoridation within their states. In 2001, the National Oral Health Surveillance System (NOHSS) was implemented on the CDC Web site. Provided in collaboration with ASTDD, NOHSS includes nine indicators that allow states to monitor the burden of oral diseases, the use of the oral care delivery system, and the status of community water fluoridation.

CDC now plays a greater role in leading surveillance aspects of national surveys and promoting analyses of data from those surveys, including the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). In 2002, a tool called My Water's Fluoride was added to the Web site.

This tool provides information on the fluoridation status of water systems for participating states. In 2000, CDC and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institutes of Health, entered into a partnership to provide the Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Data Resource Center, whose primary function is to collect data and other information needed to support research, program evaluation, and policy development at CDC, NIDCR, and other agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC assumed the management and lead for this project in 2007.

CDC has continued to advance health promotion and dental disease prevention activities across a broad front. These activities have included development of guidelines for infection control in dental practice settings (2003) and guidelines for use of fluoride to prevent dental caries in the United States (2001). CDC provided major funding and staff support for reviews of evidence supporting recommendations by the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services related to interventions to promote oral health. These reviews, published as part of The Guide to Community Preventive Services in 2001 and 2002, provided strong recommendations for implementing community water fluoridation and school-based or school-linked programs to deliver dental sealants for the prevention and control of dental caries.

CDC staff members not only serve on numerous federal and private organizational committees, they also organize and host others. These efforts often result in documents with national scope, such as the federal coordinating committee for the first Surgeon General's report on oral health, Oral Health in America (May 2000), or in national guidelines or recommendations, such as expert panels with the American Dental Association on fluoride supplements, infant formula and fluoride, oral cancer diagnostics, and clinical guidelines for placement of dental sealants. CDC also recently hosted an expert work group on water fluoridation methodology and a group that developed recommendations for school-based sealant programs.

View I. CDC's Oral Health Program: Strategic Planning for 2011–2014

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