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
“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
For more information about fluoridation and drinking water, visit
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City Water Systems in Concord, Dover, Laconia, Lebanon, Lancaster, and
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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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
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
- 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
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: www.nhoralhealth.org. Registration is required.
Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., managing vice president of the Health Policy Resource Center at the American Dental Association www.ada.org, 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.