Oral Health Improves in the US Over the Past 14 Years
After launching a targeted campaign to improve the oral health of all Americans 14 years ago in response to the death of a 12-year-old boy, Deamonte Driver, caused by an untreated tooth infection, Pew Charitable Trusts notes that significant gains have been made. The organization, in collaboration with a variety of public health and advocacy groups, suggests the following initiatives have expanded access to professional dental care for vulnerable populations—ultimately, improving the nation’s oral health:
- Expansion of dental therapy
- Addition of more dental therapy education programs
- Support of community water fluoridation programs
- Increased implementation of dental sealants among children via school-based programs
- A shift of public insurance reimbursement for pediatric dental services to pediatrician offices and school-based dental programs
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