The bill, S. 3597, the Promoting Dental Health Act, was applauded by the American Dental Association and highlighted the federal government’s role in preventing and informing the public about the risks of cavities, gum disease and other national oral health issues.

The CDC’s Oral Health program receives $20.5 million in annual funding for a range of public health activities to promote oral health. This funding is allocated to 20 states to prevent cavities, gum disease, and other painful and serious conditions, including by supporting dental education, data collection, school-based sealant care for low-income children, state fluoridation efforts, workforce development, and research into gaps in patient care.

“Dental care is a fundamental part of staying healthy. It’s imperative that oral health care is easily accessible and adequately funded so that Illinoisans, regardless of their economic status, can see a dental professional and prevent serious complications,” said Durbin. “The Promoting Dental Health Act, a bipartisan effort with Senator Marshall, will ensure that the CDC Oral Health program has the resources necessary to serve more Americans, including through efforts in Illinois.”

ADA president Linda J Edgar, DDS, and ADA executive director Ray A Cohlmia, DDS, sent a letter of support, detailing how the CDC initiatives have “helped health departments develop, maintain and upgrade their community water fluoridation systems and dental sealant programs benefitting low-income children.”

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