The Oral Health Care System

The American Dental Association Health Policy Institute published it's comprehensive report, "The Oral Health Care System: A State-by-State Analysis." The report includes data on all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the nation as a whole.

Among the findings:

Nationally, the percentage of Medicaid enrolled children who visited a dentist within the past year increased from 29 percent in 2000 to 48 percent in 2013. As a result, the gap in dental care use between Medicaid enrolled children and children with private dental benefits narrowed significantly over this same timeframe in the vast majority of states. The trend for adults differs dramatically from that for children. Dental visits by adults with private dental benefits are declining in most states. (A separate HPI analysis shows that the gap in dental care use between Medicaid and privately insured adults is much wider than it is for children.)

  • 95 percent of adults say they value keeping their mouth healthy. Routine dental care is seen as a key part of overall wellness, with 93 percent of adults agreeing that regular visits to the dentist "help keep me healthy."
  • 50 percent of adults responded correctly to a set of general-knowledge questions about oral health.
    The supply of dentists per capita increased from 57.3 dentists per 100,000 people in 2001 to 60.5/100,000 in 2013. Other HPI research suggests this trend is likely to continue through 2033.

Each state report includes the most current available information on:

  • Trends in dental care utilization (dental visits) for Medicaid-enrolled children, as well as for children and adults with private dental benefits;
  • Trends in the supply of dentists, including the percentage who participate in Medicaid;
  • Trends in reimbursement rates for dental care services in Medicaid and private dental benefit plans; and
  • Percentage of the population with access to optimally fluoridated drinking water (among people on community water systems).

Oral Health Care System in Maryland

November is National Diabetes Month

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Approximately 1 out of every 11 Americans lives with diabetes. The seventh leading cause of death in the United States, diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to critical health issues such as heart disease, blindness, and kidney failure, and can sometimes require amputations of lower limbs. During National Diabetes Month, we recognize the impact diabetes has on people's lives, and we rededicate our talents, skills, and knowledge to preventing, treating, and curing it.

Type 1 diabetes often develops in youth and is a result of the body not producing enough insulin. Insulin treatment and keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible can help people manage this disease. Type 2 diabetes -- the most common form -- affects people of all ages, though most frequently it is diagnosed in adults. However, type 2 diabetes has become increasingly prevalent among young people, largely due to increasing obesity rates. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at particularly high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as are people who are overweight and those who do not participate in regular physical activity. Taking diabetes medications as prescribed, getting plenty of regular exercise, eating healthily, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help manage type 2 diabetes.

Some people may experience higher than normal glucose levels, though not at levels high enough to be called diabetes. Roughly 86 million Americans have this condition, known as prediabetes -- and for these individuals the risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be mitigated with exercise, healthy eating, and weight loss. Gestational diabetes is another form of the disease, which can develop when a woman is pregnant. Women with a history of gestational diabetes are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. More information on diabetes, as well as actions people can take to prevent, treat, and manage it, can be found at

My Administration remains committed to supporting people living with diabetes and to finding a cure for all types of the disease. The Affordable Care Act now requires coverage of preventive services -- such as diabetes screenings for those who have high blood pressure or are pregnant -- at no additional cost. The law also ensures that individuals are not denied health coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Additionally, earlier this year I launched the Precision Medicine Initiative, an effort aimed at bringing us closer to a cure for diseases like diabetes by accelerating biomedical discoveries and providing clinicians with new tools and knowledge to select which treatments will work best for individual patients. In addition, through a comprehensive and sustained effort, the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative is working to put kids on a path to a healthier future by ensuring every family has access to healthy, affordable food, and by helping kids maintain an active lifestyle.

During National Diabetes Month, let us honor those we have lost to diabetes by pledging our full support for those currently living with it, and let us reinvigorate our resolve to find a cure. Together, by drawing on the inherent ingenuity and innovation of our people, we can advance the cause of treating this disease and safeguard the gift of a long, happy, and healthy life for all of America's daughters and sons.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2015 as National Diabetes Month. I call upon all Americans, school systems, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, research institutions, and other interested groups to join in activities that raise diabetes awareness and help prevent, treat, and manage the disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.


To learn more about the relationship between diabetes and your oral health, visit this page.

Click here for additional information.


Children’s Oral Health Book List

The Maryland Dental Action Coalition, in collaboration with the University of Maryland, Baltimore Health Sciences and Human Services Library, has created a recommended oral health book list for children under the age of seven.  The book list will serve to increase access of oral health information to children and families, and provide guidance to those who purchase and utilize children’s books.

Visit this page for more information about the books selected for the list and the book review process.

Click here to access a copy of the Oral Health Books for Children list.

Book List_FINAL


Press Release: MDAC releases list of recommended children's oral health books

The book list will support increased access to oral health information for children, families and health professionals and will provide guidance to those who purchase and utilize children’s books to promote oral health.

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (PRWEB) June 26, 2015

A list of 22 recommended children’s books on oral health has been released by the Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC), a nonprofit organization that aims to improve oral health in Maryland, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL). The recommendations are the result of a project conducted by an interprofessional team of reviewers.

The book list will support increased access to oral health information for children, families and health professionals and will provide guidance to those who purchase and utilize children’s books to promote oral health.

Child-serving organizations, health care professionals, educators and families can access the list online at

In order to develop the list, a team consisting of a pediatric dentist, school nurse, pediatric nurse practitioner, early childhood teacher, dental hygienists, dental and dental hygiene students, library professionals and health education specialists reviewed more than 50 oral health books for children up to 6 years old. Based on the review, MDAC and the University of Maryland HS/HSL chose books for recommendation in the categories of oral health care, visiting the dentist and general information about teeth.

“This project was especially rich because of its collaborative process,” said Katy Battani, health education coordinator for MDAC. “The diverse team of professionals offered various perspectives which allowed for a well-rounded assessment of each book reviewed.”

Mary Ann Williams, research, education and outreach librarian at the University of Maryland HS/HSL, said, “Having the full collection of recommended books available at University of Maryland, Baltimore’s HS/HSL, and through interlibrary loan is a great benefit not only for the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, but also for health professionals and educators who may not have the books locally available.”

The Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC) is a nonprofit organization committed to improved health among all Marylanders through increased oral health prevention, education, advocacy and access to dental care. MDAC was established in 2007 as the Dental Action Committee. The coalition was convened by Maryland Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene John M. Colmers in the wake of the death of 12-year-old Deamonte Driver who died from an untreated tooth infection that spread to his brain. The coalition was charged with providing recommendations to increase access to oral health care for all Maryland children. Today, MDAC aims to increase access to oral health care and prevent oral disease through health education and literacy for all Marylanders. (


Children's Oral Health Book List
Review Team

MDAC appreciates the hard work and dedication of the review team. This project would not have been possible without the collaborative efforts of so many. Thank you!

Book Review Team

L to R: Mary Ann Williams, Paula Raimondo, Jordan Virden, Judy Gaston, Lisa Bress, Katy Battani, Rudan Zhuo
(not shown: Diana Capobianco, Beth Lowe, Elise Stines, Alice Horowitz, Lisa Jendrek, Mary Nasuta, Carly Bastiansen)


Open Wide: An Inside Look Into Oral Health Books for Children

Book review poster_Library workshop

 A poster titled Open Wide: An Inside Look Into Oral Health Books For Children By An Interprofessional Review Team was developed about the book review process, evaluation tool, and findings. An abstract for this poster was submitted and accepted by:

  • The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MLA) for their 2014 annual meeting in Virginia.
  • The National Medical Library Association’s 2015 annual meeting in Houston, TX.

MLA poster final


Maryland General Assembly Tasks Maryland Dental Action Coalition for Study

Study looks to identify options for expanding oral health care for adults

The Maryland General Assembly commissioned the Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC) to conduct a study outlining options to expand oral health care and dental coverage for adults throughout the state. MDAC is an independent, nonprofit organization that aims to improve oral health in Maryland.

The study, due in December, will provide options to expand services to adults, including older adults in residential and community-based, long-term care programs; extend Medicaid coverage to adult enrollees; increase the number of adults with oral health coverage under a qualified health plan; and establish or expand public health initiatives for adults without dental coverage. MDAC will develop policy options through an inclusive process with broad stakeholder input. READ MORE


Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program

MDC-LARP provides student loan repayment assistance to dentists for treating Maryland's most vulnerable populations. The purpose of MDC-LARP is to increase access to oral health care services for Maryland Medical Assistance Program (MMAP) recipients by increasing the number of dentists treating this population. Application materials​ are now available. Deadline for submission is July 31, 2015.


Fluoridated Water on Tap!

MDAC sent a fact sheet about the importance of water fluoridation to the Maryland General Assembly and all MDAC members. Click here to view the fact sheet!