HARRISBURG – Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine encouraged all Pennsylvanians to take steps to care for their oral health and highlighted several goals established by the department to prevent oral disease and improve the overall health of residents.
“Good oral health is an integral part of one’s physical, mental and social health,” Dr. Levine said. “Untreated dental disease can lead to serious health effects, such as pain, infection and tooth loss.
“We encourage all Pennsylvanians to have a dental provider who they see regularly so they can cure existing oral diseases and conditions, and prevent additional ones from occurring. Watching out for your oral health is truly a step to improve your overall health.”
The department works with local community groups, associations and agencies to promote good oral health and encourage work toward improving oral health in Pennsylvania.
Several goals have been established regarding access to oral health care and prevention, as outlined in the Oral Health Plan. Those goals include:
- Increasing oral health prevention or care delivery programs;
- Increasing sealant programs;
- Increasing oral health education programs; and
- Access to Community Water Fluoridation.
While over 90 percent of Pennsylvanians are reported to have medical insurance, frequently only about one-third of that number have dental insurance. Dental health coverage is often available as part of private health insurance. The CHIP program provides for comprehensive dental coverage for children enrolled in it. The Wolf Administration is working to ensure that dental insurance coverage is available to more Pennsylvanians.