$3.2 million for children's oral health approved

The 2016-17 budget, totaling $167 billion, was recently signed by Gov. Brown and includes $3.2 million for the restoration of the California Children's Dental Disease Prevention Program, a school-based prevention program managed at the local level by local health departments, county superintendents and other contracted entities. CCDDPP was established in 1980 by Senate Bill 111 to provide California's most vulnerable children with dental disease prevention services. The program provided plaque control, oral health education and fluoride supplementation (varnish, rinse or tablets), under the oversight of an active advisory committee. Over the years, dental screenings and dental sealants were added, and were offered as funding permitted.

"For the last several years, CDA has focused its advocacy on bringing a dental director to California. Last August, Dr. Jay Kumar took that position and has been working with stakeholders to develop a state oral health plan to improve access to care in our state. As this program is reinstated, CDA is working with Dr. Kumar to ensure the program has the flexibility needed to align it with the goals of the SOHP — in particular, establishing community-clinical linkages and building an infrastructure at the local level," said CDA President Ken Wallis, DDS.

Over the 30 years that CCDDPP operated in California, the California Department of Health partnered with the University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry to oversee the program, serving 33 schools in 32 counties throughout the state and more than 325,000 California preschool and elementary school children. Schools with more than 50 percent of students enrolled in the federal free and reduced-priced school lunch program were eligible for CCDDPP services.

For questions about CCDDPP or other state oral health program activities, contact CDA Community Programs Director Gayle Mathe at gayle.mathe@cda.org or 916.554.4995.

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