Press Releases


Entries in Dental Treatments (8)


NH DHHS - Fluoridation Awards 

City Water Systems in Concord, Dover, Laconia, Lebanon, Lancaster, and

Manchester Receive Award for Fluoridation Efforts

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services,

Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) announced today that the City of

Concord Water Treatment, City of Dover Water Department, Lancaster Water

Department, Laconia Water Works, Lebanon Water Department, and Manchester

Water Works have each been awarded a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from

the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fluoridation is

the adjustment of the level of fluoride, a naturally occurring element, in

drinking water to an amount that is effective for preventing tooth decay.

The award recognizes those communities that achieved excellence in

community water fluoridation by maintaining an optimal level of fluoridated

water throughout 2014. In all, 2,282 awards will be given out across 33

states. Although seven of these have been awarded to New Hampshire

communities, less than half of the people served by a public water system

(46%) receive fluoridated water. New Hampshire ranks 43 in the country for

the fluoridation of public water systems. Many New Hampshire residents

receive water from private wells which may or may not have naturally

occurring fluoride.

“Community water fluoridation is one of the most effective ways that

communities can prevent tooth decay in children and adults,” stated Dr.

Katherine Weno, DDS, JD, Director, CDC Division of Oral Health. “Our

current research shows that people living in communities with fluoridated

water have about 25% fewer cavities.”

Community water fluoridation has been recognized by CDC as one of ten great

public health achievements of the 20th Century. Currently, nearly

three-quarters (73.9%)—or 204 million people in the United States—served by

community water systems have access to optimally fluoridated tap water. CDC

recommends water fluoridation as a safe, effective, and inexpensive method

of preventing tooth decay. In fact, every $1 invested in fluoridation saves

at least $38 in costs of dental treatment.

“The New Hampshire DPHS fully supports community water fluoridation as a

strategy to improve the public’s oral health. The proper amount of fluoride

from infancy through old age helps prevent and control tooth decay,” said

Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of Public Health at DPHS. “I commend the

high quality work of the water departments in Concord, Dover, Laconia

Lancaster, Lebanon and Manchester. All residents that receive water from

these municipal services can enjoy community water fluoridation’s safe and

protective benefits.”

For more information about fluoridation and drinking water, visit or


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 To read the full Pew

report, go to


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NH DHHS - Do New Hampshire Seniors Have a Reason to Smile?

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services, Oral Health Program has

released the results of the 2014 Oral Health Survey of New Hampshire Older

Adults that are based on data collected at 25 Senior Centers and Congregate

Meal Sites in our State and the news is compelling. Altogether, 18.9% of

older adults are in need of early or urgent dental care that may be

difficult to access particularly due to financial and transportation

issues. The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors funded this

survey of adults aged 60 and older and the New Hampshire Bureau of Elderly

and Adult Services (BEAS) provided funding from its Title IIID Older

Americans Act allocation for all dental treatment referrals resulting from

the survey. Altogether, 610 adults 60 years of age and older were screened;

38 of these received restorative treatment using BEAS funds.

The results of this survey provide important insights into the dental needs

of our older residents who remain active and live independently. Collected

data show that only 18.4% of older adults have some type of dental

insurance to help pay for routine dental care, 28.0% of older adults have

no functional top to bottom tooth contact, which affects proper chewing,

and 15.9% of older adults have lost all of their natural teeth, which

greatly impacts their quality of life and well being. Approximately 5.2% of

individuals with no teeth have no dentures, which interferes with eating

and daily functioning. Similarly, 25.4% of older adults have untreated

decay or root fragments, and 6.8% are in need of periodontal care. The

report reveals that there are significant geographic and socioeconomic

disparities in our State. Older residents living in rural areas and those

with lower incomes have a significantly greater unmet need for dental care.

“Oral diseases and conditions are common among our New Hampshire seniors,”

said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS, “many of whom

grew up without the benefit of community water fluoridation and other

fluoride products. This survey illustrates that New Hampshire seniors with

the poorest oral health are those who are economically disadvantaged and

live in the most rural parts of our State. This is not a cosmetic issue.

Our seniors have conditions that impact their ability to eat and may impact

their overall health."

The collected data help to identify gaps in service delivery to older

adults who represent a substantial proportion of the State’s population. In

fact, the current number of New Hampshire adults 65 years old and older is

about 200,000. The Oral Health Program has received federal funding for two

new dental facilities in health centers located in rural New Hampshire.

Oral health care will be integrated into medical care for underserved rural

residents, including older adults with a greater unmet need for dental

care. A similar survey will track the progress in the future. To view the

full report, visit


NH DHHS - Healthy Smiles–Healthy Growth Report

Comparison Findings of the New Hampshire 2013–2014 Healthy Smiles–Healthy

Growth Third Grade Survey Show Dramatic Decrease in

Obesity and Tooth Decay

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) has compared the results

of the 2013–2014 Healthy Smiles–Healthy Growth Third Grade Survey with the

2008–2009 survey and finds improvements have been made. The statewide

survey was funded by the HNH Foundation and Northeast Delta Dental. The

data show a marked improvement over the last five years and demonstrate

progress in reducing health disparities in both obesity and oral health

status. Data were collected at public elementary schools in each county

throughout New Hampshire. The Nashua Division of Public Health and

Community Services coordinated data collection for the City.

When compared with the 2008–09 survey DPHS found:


- 30% decrease statewide in obesity prevalence

- 34.8% decrease in obesity among students in schools that have more than

50% of students eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch

- 46% reduction in schools that have 25% or less students who qualify for

Free or Reduced Lunch

- 37% decrease in boys

Oral Health

- 54.4% decrease in untreated decay in Coos County

- 31.7% decrease in untreated tooth decay statewide

- 32.5% decrease in children with immediate dental needs

- 20.4% increase in dental sealants in schools with more than 50% of

students who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch

“The findings support the collaborative efforts that took place across the

State beginning in 2008,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health

at DHHS. “We are very excited to see large improvements in obesity and

dental sealants in schools that have high eligibility for Free or Reduced

Lunch and a decrease in untreated tooth decay in Coos County. In order to

sustain these improvements and further reduce health disparities,

businesses, private foundations, community organizations, and government

are working together to target resources and strategies. This will have a

collective impact and improve the health of the people in New Hampshire.

This is exciting progress and is the result of efforts by many partners

from parents to schools to dental health professionals, nutrition and

physical activity advocates, all designed to target efforts in areas where

worse health outcomes exist.”

Beginning in 2008, DPHS was awarded a five-year $2.2 million CDC grant to

establish an Obesity Prevention Program (OPP). OPP supported Healthy Eating

Active Living (HEAL) NH by providing assistance and resources to schools,

worksites, and communities. Additionally OPP focused efforts in child care

settings training over 300 child care providers to improve nutrition and

physical activity in their programs. Other key partners included HEAL NH,

the Foundation for Healthy Communities, the NH Department of Transportation

Safe Routes to School Program, NH Regional Planning Commissions, and the NH

Child Development Bureau.

The Oral Health Program in the Division of Public Health Services has

worked with many external partners to target interventions in areas with

oral health disparities found in the 2008–2009 survey. The 54.4% decrease

in untreated decay in Coos County and the 20.4% increase in dental sealants

in schools with more than 50% of students who qualify for Free or Reduced

Lunch demonstrate that targeted efforts can result in significant


The HNH Foundation and Northeast Delta Dental Foundation provided funding

for data collection, while the Association of State and Territorial Dental

Directors contributed technical assistance for the sampling and data

analysis of the Third Grade Survey. The purpose of the survey was to gather

representative data on oral health and height/weight status for third grade

students statewide.

The complete New Hampshire 2013–2014 Healthy Smiles–Healthy Growth Third

Grade Survey is available on the DHHS website.


NEW HAMPSHIRE – October 8, 2014 – Online registration is open through October 15 for the 2014 NH Oral Health Forum co-sponsored by the NH Oral Health Coalition and the Bi-State Primary Care Association.  This year’s event will be held Friday, October 17 at the Concord, NH Holiday Inn.  A preview of the agenda and speakers is available at:  Registration is required. 

Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., managing vice president of the Health Policy Resource Center at the American Dental Association, will deliver the keynote address, “A Profession in Transition – What Every Dentist Needs to Know about Tomorrow’s Practice Environment.” This presentation is sponsored by the Concord-based Endowment for Health and Northeast Delta Dental.   Previously, Dr. Vujicic was a Health Economist with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was part of a team responsible for policy research and support to Ministries of Health in developing countries.  He is the lead author of Working in Health: Financing and Managing the Public Sector Health Workforce, as well as several publications in academic journals.  Sharing the podium with Dr. Vujicic will be Margaret Snow, DMD, MPH, MBA, NH’s Dental Director providing an update on the state’s proposed Medicaid Waiver and the national consensus statement on oral health during pregnancy.  Additional panels highlighting NH’s community-based oral health providers will address public health oral health practice and medical-dental integration in traditional and non-traditional settings.    

The Forum is an interdisciplinary professional collaboration with additional sponsorships provided by the NH Dental Society Foundation and the NH Pediatric Society plus funds provided in part by the state of NH and the US Department of Health and Human Services.  Operational and program funding to help support this program has been provided by the HNH Foundation, the Endowment for Health, and the DentaQuest Foundation. 

The NH Oral Health Coalition is a diverse group of organizations, agencies, and individuals, concerned about the impact of oral health issues facing New Hampshire.  This group is broadly representative of those involved in oral health provision, planning and funding.  The NH Public Health Association, a 501(c)3(h), serves as fiscal sponsor for the Coalition.  

Bi-State Primary Care Association is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization that promotes access to effective and affordable primary care and preventive services for all, with special emphasis on underserved populations in Vermont and New Hampshire.