Oral Health Needs Assessment Available   

(Liberty, NY 3:45pm) - An Oral Health Needs Assessment describing the oral health needs, gaps in Sullivan County, as well as recommendations, has been completed and is electronically available to the public on the local health department’s web page. Go to www.co.sullivan.ny.us and click on tabs for Departments / Public Health Services / Health Related Data and Reports. The report is the first comprehensive oral health needs assessment conducted in Sullivan County and was completed with the support of funding from the Sullivan County Rural Health Network and NYS Office of Rural Health. The needs assessment was completed as a result of the desire to better understand some of the issues and barriers involved in our county’s poor oral health statistics, with a special focus on children and pregnant women.

According to the American Academy for Pediatric Dentistry, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the U.S., and disproportionately affects children who live in poverty and those who live in rural areas, because they are less likely to receive dental care than those living in urban areas (National Rural Health Association). Less than half (46%) of third graders in Sullivan County were reported to take fluoride tablets regularly. Keeping children and pregnant women healthy is one of the most effective ways to reduce health care costs and the future burden of chronic diseases that can result from poor oral health.

An Oral Health Coalition meets monthly at Sullivan County Public Health Services at 50 Community Lane, Liberty, NY to discuss ideas and interventions to improve oral health in Sullivan County. The Oral Health Coalition is a subcommittee of the Sullivan County Rural Health Network, and is a collaborative effort between several local non-profit agencies, the PRASAD Children’s Dental Health Project, Sullivan County Public Health Services, dental hygienists, school nurses, dentists, and concerned citizens. Monthly meetings are open to anyone interested in helping to promote improving oral health in Sullivan County.

Call Nancy McGraw or Amanda Langseder at (845) 292-5910 for more information.

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