Vermont’s Oral Health Efforts Receive National Recognition

For Immediate Release: March 10, 2005

Contact:Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON -Vermont is one of fifteen states recognized for its efforts in advancing oral health. Oral Health America, a national and independent organization, featured the Vermont Department of Health in their 2005 report A for Effort: Making the Grade in Oral Health – An Oral Health America Special Grading Project.

Oral Health America’s Special Grading Project, a national report card to measure progress in advancing oral health parity for vulnerable populations, lauded Vermont’s Oral Health Initiative for its social marketing campaign to change perceptions of oral health.

“Even though Vermont is one of the nation’s leaders in access to oral health care, we are continually working to improve oral health for the residents of our state ” said Donald R. Swartz, MD, director of Health Improvement at the Vermont Department of Health. “Our research showed that many Vermont families don’t know what they can do to keep their children’s teeth healthy. Our social marketing campaign has helped provide important dental information to a great number of Vermont children and their families.”

Vermont’s ongoing social marketing campaign to change perceptions of oral health includes providing preventive health care information and expanding the school-based Tooth Tutor program to meet the dental needs of underserved children.

Vermont’s efforts also include a consumer education campaign, and a toll-free hotline, 888-9VTSMILE and website, www.smilevt.org , with dental health information. Vermont ranks among the top states in its coverage of oral health services, dentists’ participation in Medicaid, and utilization rates by Medicaid eligibles.

For more information on Vermont’s social marketing campaign on oral health, funded in part by a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, please visit www.smilevt.org .