The mission of the Office of Oral Health is to improve, promote and protect the oral health of Massachusetts residents.
The office seeks to assure that:
- Evidence-based prevention programs such as community water fluoridation and school fluoride and sealant programs are utilized by Massachusetts communities and residents.
- All residents have access to dental services, especially underserved populations.
- Publicly supported dental programs are efficiently managed and coordinated.
- Oral health information is available to residents and decision-makers to promote oral health.
The Office of Oral Health began implementing its school-based sealant program in 2007. Dental hygienists using portable dental equipment provide screenings, education, dental sealants and fluoride, as well as referrals to a dental home for children in need of restorative services. Our SEALs program is available to all schools in all communities in Massachusetts.
Since 1978, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has supported the Fluoride Mouthrinse Program, providing school-age children in grades 1-6 with an effective way to reduce decay at no cost to parents or schools. All schools in Massachusetts are eligible to participate in this program.
MassHealth now reimburses certain categories of health providers for applying fluoride varnish, a topical fluoride, on the teeth of children with a moderate to high-risk for tooth decay. Physicians and qualified personnel, including nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, physician assistants, and medical assistants, seeking to apply fluoride varnish to MassHealth children under the age of 21 are required to complete a MassHealth-approved training program.