The financial and human costs associated with children’s dental disease are severe and can last a lifetime. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, yet it is largely preventable.
In New York State, one in four 3rd graders has untreated decay, and children from low-income families are more likely to have untreated decay than their more affluent peers. In 2012, approximately 32% of low-income children had untreated decay, while only 15% of children at higher income had untreated decay.
Expanding community water fluoridation is a key strategy to reducing dental disease, particularly the higher rate of disease in low-income and minority children. Over 70 years of experience shows fluoridation to be safe and highly effective at reducing cavities while saving healthcare dollars. Research here in New York documents better oral health and lower Medicaid expenditures on children’s dental procedures in communities with fluoridation.
The following resources outline the challenges and opportunities for oral health in New York State:
Newsletter Template: Water Fluoridation Equipment: Round 3 Grants Now Available, October 3, 2016
— Flyer: Water Fluoridation Round 3 Grants, October 3, 2016
Oral Health Project Update: The Healthy Teeth Amendment Moves to Implementation. April 8, 2015
Understanding Children’s Oral Health: More Than Just Baby Teeth, A Brief for Policymakers in New York, March 2015
Closing the Coverage Gap: Achieving Universal Dental Coverage for Children, Issue Brief 4, February 2015
— Fast Facts, Closing the Coverage Gap for Children’s Oral Health, February 2015
The Power of Prevention: The Potential for a Generation of Cavity Free Kids, final report of the Oral Health Leadership Team, January 2015
Fluoride in Water: Foundation of Cavity Prevention, Issue Brief 3, November 2014
— Fast Facts, Fluoridation: The Foundation of Cavity Prevention, November 2014
Successful Strategies for Keeping Kids Cavity-Free, Issue Brief 2, July 2014
Prevention First: Making Sure New York Smiles, Issue Brief 1, April 2014
— Infographic, Prevention First Infographic, April 2014
—Fast Facts, Dental is Fundamental—Ensuring the Smiles of All New Yorkers, April 2014