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.
Entries in Dental Treatments (5)
Comparison Findings of the New Hampshire 2013–2014 Healthy Smiles–Healthy
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.
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
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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
http://2min2x.org/. For resources on celebrating National Children’s Dental
Health Month, go to the American Dental Association’s website at
http://www.ada.org/6712.aspx. To learn about the New Hampshire Oral Health
Program go to http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/rhpc/oral/index.htm 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
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
http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/rhpc/oral/index.htm. To read the entire
Pew report, go to