National Governors Association releases dental recommendations

By Christine Sexton

5:07 p.m. | Oct. 29, 2015

The National Governors Association on Thursday released recommendations on how states can improve oral health and cut costs.

The report — dubbed Health Investments that Pay Off: Strategies to Improve Oral Health — recommends three interventions that it says could improve people’s oral health if adopted: ensuring water supplies meet updated federal fluoridation targets, applying fluoride varnish to people’s teeth and applying resin-based dental sealants to children’s permanent molars at dental clinics or schools with high participation rates in a federal free or reduced-price meal program.

“All children are susceptible to oral health problems, but children below the poverty level are two to three times more likely to suffer from untreated tooth decay,” said North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a member of the association’s executive committee. “Governors are positioned to utilize strategies to improve oral health, which not only helps vulnerable populations but also the overall quality of health care for all residents.”

The National Governors Association represents the governors of 55 states, territories and commonwealths.