NH DHHS - Pew Research Foundation Report Give New Hampshire an 'A'

New Pew Research Foundation Report Gives New Hampshire an ‘A’ for State’s

Efforts to Protect Children from Tooth Decay

Concord, NH – A new report from the Pew Research Foundation gives New

Hampshire an “A” grade for its efforts to protect children from tooth decay

with dental sealants. The ranking reflects combined efforts by the

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), children’s health

advocates, and providers to promote good oral health among school children.

According to research, school based dental sealant programs reduce tooth

decay by 60 percent at one-third the cost of a filling.

“Pew’s recognition demonstrates how much we can accomplish when we work

together to advance children’s health,” said DHHS Commissioner Nick

Toumpas. “This is testament to the hard work of staff in the Office of

Medicaid and the Division of Public Health Services Oral Health Program.

This is a victory for health advocates in the community, dental programs

that help manage the sealant programs, participating dentists and

hygienists, and the schools that provide the care.”

The oral health policies are administered by the DHHS Division of Public

Health and Office of Medicaid. New Hampshire also received an ‘A’ grade two

years ago, based on similar criteria and both times received the Pew

Foundation's highest score for policy and sealant program performance. Pew

has graded states' oral health policies on certain measures for several


Pew based the grade on four policy and performance elements:

· Percentage of high-need schools with sealant programs

· Unnecessary rules restricting hygienists from applying sealants in


· Participation in the National Oral Health Surveillance System

· Meeting “Healthy People 2010” sealant objective

Still, many children between the ages of 6 and 9 are without sealants.

Sealants are covered by Medicaid and available through school-based sealant

programs, in community dental clinics and in local dentists’ offices. The

American Dental Association recommends sealants for permanent molars for

all children at risk for tooth decay.

For more information about the New Hampshire DHHS Oral Health Program visit

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/rhpc/oral/index.htm. To read the full Pew

report, go to



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