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Department of Health Encourages Pennsylvanians to Make Oral Health a Priority
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine and Chief Dental Officer Dr. Mana Mozaffarian are encouraging all Pennsylvanians to make their oral health a priority, highlighting the department’s goals to prevent oral disease to improve the overall health of residents.
“Good oral health is an integral part of ensuring that we have a healthy Pennsylvania for all,” Dr. Levine said. “Untreated dental disease can lead to serious health effects, such as pain, infection and tooth loss, and even heart disease. Watching out for your oral health is truly a step to improve your overall health.”
The department works with community groups, associations and local, state and federal agencies to promote oral health care and encourage work toward improving access in Pennsylvania. In addition, the Wolf Administration recently appointed Dr. Mozaffarian as Chief Dental Officer to ensure that oral health remains a priority.
“Oral health has a direct impact on an individual’s physical, mental and social health,” Dr. Mozaffarian said. “We encourage all Pennsylvanians to seek routine care, not only to treat existing oral disease, but also to prevent the addition of new disease from occurring.”
Several goals have been established regarding access to oral health care and prevention, as outlined in the 2017-2020 Oral Health Plan. Those goals include:
- Increasing oral health prevention or care delivery programs;
- Increasing sealant programs;
- Increasing oral health education programs; and
- Access to community water fluoridation.
While more than 90 percent of Pennsylvanians are reported to have medical insurance; however, only about a third of those have dental insurance. Dental health coverage is often available as part of private health insurance. Medicaid and the CHIP program provide for comprehensive dental coverage for enrolled children. The Wolf Administration is working to ensure that dental insurance coverage is available to more Pennsylvanians.
For more information on oral health, visit the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov.
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