Press Releases


Entries in Dental Treatments (3)


NH DHHS - Awards to Be Presented to Three Municipalities for Fluoridation Efforts

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division

of Public Health Services (DPHS) is honoring the City of Concord Water

Treatment, the Laconia Water Works, and the Lebanon Water Department with a

Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention (CDC) for excellence in community water fluoridation to

decrease the rate of tooth decay in their communities.

WHEN: Friday, March 14, 2014 at 9:00 AM

WHERE: City of Concord Water Treatment Plant

53 Hutchins Street

Concord, NH

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NH DHHS Promotes New Recommendations in Recognition of Children’s Dental Health Month

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

recognition of February as Children’s Dental Health Month, reminds parents

and providers that children should receive their first oral health check up

before one year of age, and remember to brush twice a day for 2 minutes

each time—think “2x2.”

Tooth decay is almost entirely preventable. Tooth decay is the most

widespread chronic childhood disease and can cause a lifetime of problems

if not prevented or treated early in a child’s life. Untreated cavities may

lead to pain and infection, and when children suffer from oral health

problems so does their ability to concentrate and learn. Early tooth loss

from dental decay can cause impaired speech development, absence from

school, difficulty with concentration, and reduced self-esteem.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric

Dentistry recommend that children begin regular oral exams when their first

teeth become visible or by one year of age. New Hampshire Medicaid and many

other dental insurance programs cover the cost of these examinations.

“These are problems that can be easily prevented by taking care of

children’s mouths and teeth from the time they are infants,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “It‘s an investment that lasts

a lifetime. The National Partnership for Healthy Mouths has created the new

2x2 initiative that makes it easier for parents and caregivers to remember

this important part of preventing oral health problems during our busy


Here are important steps to take to help preserve dental health in


Brush and floss children’s teeth 2 times a day.

Use a toothpaste with fluoride.

Give fluoride prescribed by your health care provider if your water

supply doesn’t have the right amount of fluoride to protect a child’s


If using a pacifier, do not dip it in anything sweet such as honey or


Clean an infant’s teeth and gums every day, especially after feeding

and before bed.

Have regular dental checkups, starting before age one.

Do not give infants juice until 12 months of age, and always use a

cup and not a bottle for juice.

Never put a baby to bed with a bottle.

Don’t let your child catch the bacteria that cause tooth decay by

sharing food, utensils, or toys with others.

Avoid sticky snacks, dried fruits, candy, and sweetened drinks. Offer

healthy snacks, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Follow your health care provider’s advice.

For more information on the “2 minutes, 2 times” national campaign, visit For resources on celebrating National Children’s Dental

Health Month, go to the American Dental Association’s website at To learn about the New Hampshire Oral Health

Program go to or call

271-4535. Families with preschool children may be eligible for the WIC

Nutrition Program and to receive nutrition education about healthy meals

and snacks for infants and preschoolers. Contact WIC at 1-800-942-4321 or


NH DHHS - New Hampshire Receives “A” Grade for Dental Sealant Rate in Children

Concord, NH – New Hampshire is one of only five stats to receive a grade of

“A” in a new report by the Pew Research Foundation on the impact of school

dental sealant programs on children’s oral health. Sealants are a clear

protective coating applied to teeth to prevent cavities in children. Dental

care remains the greatest unmet health need among U.S. children, espe­cially

for low-income children, who are almost twice as likely to develop cavities

as children from families with higher incomes.

New Hampshire school sealant programs reach more than 75% of high-risk

schools, surpassing the national Healthy People 2010 oral health goals for

children. The Division of Public Health Services at the New Hampshire

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has conducted three

statewide surveys to assess the oral health of third grade students. A

fourth survey is planned for September 2013. Between the second and third

surveys in 2004 and 2009, respectively, data show that among third graders,

untreated decay decreased from 24.1% to 12.0%, history of decay decreased

from 51.0% to 43.6%, and the presence of dental sealants increased from

42.5% to 60.4%. The improvement in children’s oral health is attributed to

changes in the Medicaid dental program, the fluoridation of the Manchester

public water supply, preventive services for Head Start children at risk

for dental diseases, and a statewide focus on the application of dental

sealants on students’ teeth through school-based and school-linked


“Tooth decay can have far-reaching effects on children,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “Untreated decay can cause pain

and infection that may lead to difficulty eating, speaking, socializing,

and sleeping and to poor overall health. Dental problems also negatively

affect school attendance and performance. Oral health is an important part

of overall health care.”

Pew’s grades for states with school-based dental sealant programs are based

on four indicators that should be a key part of any state’s prevention


1. Having sealant programs in high-need schools,

2. Allowing hygienists to place sealants in school-based programs without

requiring a dentist’s exam,

3. Collecting data regularly about the dental health of school-children and

submitting it to a national oral health database, and

4. Meeting a national health objective on sealants.

Dental disease also has serious financial consequences due to the cost of

treating children’s tooth decay. Many children end up in hospital emergency

departments for tooth-related pain and infection. In New Hampshire, from

2001 to 2007, emergency department charges associated with dental

conditions for people of all ages totaled $26.9 million.

School-based sealant programs save money by preventing the need for

fillings and other expensive procedures among children at higher risk for

cavities. Evidence supports the cost-effectiveness of school-based sealant

programs. The average cost of sealing one molar is less than one-third of

the expense of filling a cavity. By expanding the number of children

reached by sealant programs, states can spare kids the consequences of

tooth decay while making a smarter investment of tax dollars.

For more information about the New Hampshire DPHS Oral Health Program visit To read the entire

Pew report, go to