Partnership for Children’s Oral Health
Barely half of the 300,000 children and youth living in Maine are receiving basic routine preventive dental care. The Partnership for Children’s Oral Health was created in 2016 with anchor funding from the Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation to address the challenge of improving children’s oral health in Maine. The Foundation recognized this to be a multi-generational, complex issue, and one that would require changing beliefs, habits, financial structures, and treatment practices.
The Partnership was founded on the belief that by leveraging the collective experience and strengths of many different stakeholders, in a coordinated effort over a sustained period of time, it could make a meaningful difference in the lives of Maine children.
The Partnership has made significant progress by focusing on three strategic priorities: integrating oral health into primary care, expanding school- and community-based prevention, and catalyzing innovation in disease management. In support of these priorities, the Partnership:
- Completed the first-ever analysis of the dental claims in the Maine All-Payer Claims Database and summarized the results in a data brief;
- Collaborated with the University of New England Dental Hygiene Program, the Maine Area Health Education Center Network, and The Opportunity Alliance to provide opportunities for health profession students to perform oral health screenings and fluoride varnishes to children in rural and underserved communities in Maine, and
- Created an online map of dental providers available during the COVID-19 crisis.
Going forward, the Partnership will continue to collaborate with its partners to ensure that effective oral health prevention, education, and treatment interventions reach all Maine children.