Maryland Oral Health Plan

M aryland has made great strides in improving oral health, but there is much more that needs to be done, especially to protect the oral health of our most vulnerable populations. To that end, the MDAC developed a state plan to promote the oral health of all Marylanders—children, adolescents, adults, and older adults.

Maryland Oral Health Plan: 2011–2015 offers a five-year strategic approach that addresses three areas: access to oral health care, oral disease injury and prevention, and oral health literacy and education. It is considered a living document that will be review annually and modified as needed. This plan came to life, with input from many key individuals working in state and local government agencies, academic institutions, professional dental organizations, private practice, community-based programs, the insurance industry, advocacy groups and other organizations. The effort was funded by the DentaQuest Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Oral Health.

  • Ensure continuously accessible, coordinated, affordable, and effective oral health care (dental home) for all Marylanders through an integrated state oral health and health care system.
  • Build an optimal oral health work force to ensure the availability of oral health services for all Marylanders.
  • Strengthen the integration of oral health care and overall health care.
  • Regularly assess the oral health status of all Marylanders, including those living in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, group homes, and shelters; those who are homeless; those with disabilities; and those who are migrants or immigrants.
  • Increase the use and adoption of best practices to prevent oral disease and injury in all settings, including public health and private practice.
  • Promote the public’s awareness of risk factors for oral cancer, its symptoms, and ways to prevent it.
  • Ensure that communities have access to oral-disease and injury-prevention programs.
  • Enhance individuals’ awareness of the relationship between oral health and general health and wellness to empower them to adopt good oral health behaviors supported by evidence-based practice.
  • Enhance individuals’ ability to navigate the oral health care system and to establish dental homes.
  • Promote primary care health professionals’ and specialists’ awareness and knowledge of the importance of oral health interventions for medically compromised individuals.
  • Enhance oral health professionals’ ability to work with diverse populations.
  • Enhance the public’s awareness of evidence-based preventive strategies for improving oral health.

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