CDC Division of Oral Health
A nation where all people enjoy good oral health that contributes to leading healthy, satisfying lives.
To prevent and control oral diseases and conditions by building the knowledge, tools, and networks that promote healthy behaviors and effective public health practices and programs.
The CDC's Division of Oral Health (DOH) works to improve the oral health of the nation and reduce inequalities in oral health by—
View our Strategic Plan or read as a [PDF–1.1M]
Strong state-based public health programs are critical to the nation's oral health. Despite national improvements in oral health, significant dental disease exists across all age groups, and for some racial and ethnic groups. Those with low incomes, particularly children in low-income families are also affected.
A cornerstone of CDC efforts is to support state health departments to improve basic state oral health services. CDC funding includes support specifically to—
CDC provides support for all states, even those not yet funded, by providing—
CDC supports research to examine prevention strategies by—
Examples of such research include identifying factors potentially connected to decisions by communities on whether or not to fluoridate and evaluating different strategies for providing dental sealants through schools.
CDC monitors the occurrence of oral diseases and conditions, the use of preventive measures (e.g., dental sealants), and other factors that can influence oral health, such as dental visits.
CDC leads the nation by helping states and territories collect oral health data and by developing new methods for oral health surveillance. CDC scientists are currently working with other leading experts to develop self-report measures for use in the surveillance of periodontal disease at the state and local levels. These self-reported measures of periodontal (gum) disease in adults will soon be tested in a national survey.
We also bring together oral health data from many sources and make this information widely available to public health professionals and consumers through CDC Web-based systems.
Come learn with us. The CDC's Division of Oral Health (DOH) is currently considering applicants for the 2014–2015 Dental Public Health Residency Program. Two applicants will be chosen for this accredited training program, which is located in Atlanta, Georgia. Deadline for submissions is February 15, 2014. Learn more about the requirements and how to apply.
The program in dental public health is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation [and has been granted the accreditation status of "approval without reporting requirements"]. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60611. The Commission's Web address is: .
Infection Control Guidance to Dental Practitioners. Good infection control practice in dental offices is essential to ensuring the public's safety and maintaining its confidence. CDC provides national leadership on infection control for the entire dental health care workforce.
Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health-Care Settings—2003 (MMWR 2003;52[RR-17] provides guidance to dental practitioners nationally and globally and are accepted as the standard of care by most state dental licensing boards. These recommendations provide direction for the public, policy makers, and dental industry.
In addition, CDC staff investigates disease transmission in dental offices and identifies emerging problems.
CDC provides technical support to state programs that oversee community water fluoridation by providing training for managers of state community water fluoridation programs; engineering technical support; and, creating the Water Fluoridation Reporting System (WFRS) for managing state water fluoridation programs.
CDC also promotes the appropriate use of other fluoride products to prevent tooth decay. One example is the Brush Up on Healthy Teeth educational material that encourages using the correct amount of fluoride toothpaste for children.