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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:

  1. Expansion of dental therapy
  2. Addition of more dental therapy education programs
  3. Support of community water fluoridation programs
  4. Increased implementation of dental sealants among children via school-based programs
  5. A shift of public insurance reimbursement for pediatric dental services to pediatrician offices and school-based dental programs

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