The ADA thanked two members of the U.S. Senate for introducing S 3597, the Promoting Dental Health Act, which would reauthorize the oral health promotion and disease prevention activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through 2028.
ADA President Linda J. Edgar, D.D.S., and ADA Executive Director Ray A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., offered ”enthusiastic support” in the Feb. 5 letter, addressed to Sen. Richard Durbin, D-IL, and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-KS.
“The CDC Division of Oral Health administers the federal government’s most critical dental public health activities to prevent cavities, gum disease and other painful and serious conditions,” Drs. Edgar and Cohlmia wrote. “Among other things, it provides vital support for state and territorial health departments to monitor oral disease across populations and implement evidence-based oral health interventions.”
The ADA leaders noted that over the years, the CDC Division of Oral Health has helped health departments develop, maintain and upgrade their community water fluoridation systems and dental sealant programs benefitting low-income children.
Drs. Edgar and Cohlmia added that the division has developed infection control guidelines to protect dental patients, as well as fund specialty training for dental public health professionals. In addition, they said the division supports public education campaigns and health data systems to help stakeholders understand what advances or impedes the public’s oral health, including risky or protective behaviors, the availability of preventive interventions and use of preventive services.
“Lawmakers use this data to measure the nation’s progress in advancing the public’s oral health and, toward that end, prioritize national resources,” Drs. Edgar and Cohlmia wrote. “The CDC Division of Oral Health envisions a nation where all people enjoy good oral health that contributes to leading healthy, satisfying lives. Combined with enhanced appropriations, your bill moves us in that direction.”
Follow the ADA’s advocacy efforts at ADA.org/advocacy.