Oral Health Initiatives
There are many oral health initiatives going on across the state and in local communities. Learn about some of the initiatives going on across the state in order to implement them in your community or connect to a network of partners working on oral health in your community.
Oral Health Efforts Across Colorado
There are many approaches, initiatives, tools, and resources to address oral health inequities happening across the state. Multi-sector partnerships are crucial in addressing the oral health needs of Coloradans and oral health inequities; addressing upstream determinants of health; and the cultural and structural shift towards integration of oral health and overall health.
Learn about some of our featured program going on across that state on our initiatives page. Find more programs and initiatives featured from the network of oral health in the oral health strategies section.
Colorado Oral Health Strategies
Colorado Oral Health Strategies (link to COHSP page). Colorado Oral Health Equity strategies were developed by a network of local, state, community, foundation, and commercial partners working on oral health improvement in Colorado. These strategies are meant to guide activities to eliminate the systemic inequities in Colorado that impact oral health and related health outcomes across the state by aligning efforts. Check out information about the development of the oral health strategies! Link to COHSP page
Cavity Free at Three
Cavity Free at Three works to keep Colorado children free of dental disease. This evidence-informed program works cross-sector partnerships to improve access to preventive oral health services for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. The Cavity Free at Three model includes training for clinical teams on six essential services including applying fluoride varnish (a Colorado-based study shows that four fluoride varnish applications before age 3 significantly decreased cavities), oral health education, and referral for urgent oral health care needs. The program also offers technical support for billing and implementation.
Community Water Fluoridation
More than 75 years of research has shown that community water fluoridation is a safe and effective way to reduce cavities and improve oral and overall health. All Coloradans who live in communities with optimally fluoridated water benefit, regardless of age, education, or income. The Community Water Fluoridation Program helps ensure that community water systems provide drinking water with safe, effective levels of fluoride. Learn more about Community Water Fluoridation support in Colorado.
Oral Health Integration
Integration of oral health includes programs to integrate oral health with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, behavioral health, and local public health initiatives. Read more about the programs.
School-based oral health
School-based dental sealant programs are a proven, cost-effective way to prevent cavities in children. A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating applied by a dentist or hygienist to children’s teeth. This coating protects the teeth from bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Families can save $632 in dental treatments, lost wages, and travel costs for every child who receives sealants. School-based sealant programs help families and schools by limiting the amount of time children spend outside of the classroom for dental care.
It’s clear that one foundational piece of addressing oral health equity is the having a sufficient, diverse, responsive, and strong workforce. This means strategies such as expanding the workforce to address shortages and increase access to communities across the state, training on culturally relevant public health interventions, and addressing inequities in the workforce itself. Learn about multiple strategies that are being implemented across the state:
Workforce strategies such as dental loan repayment, workforce training opportunities, expanding access through Colorado’s safety net (link workforce page)
Dental integration (link dental integration landing page)
Local public health agencies working on a local level (link LPHA page)