Oral Health

Oral Health

Smilling girl holding toothbrush.

You cannot be truly healthy without good dental health. Dental health is important for obvious reasons like eating, speaking, feeling good about your smile, and being able to find a job.

Dental health is also important for overall health. For example, people who have diabetes are at greater risk for dental disease, and having dental disease makes it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Poor dental health has also been linked to heart disease and stroke as well.

802 Smiles Network Coordinator.To see how we're doing in Vermont: Oral Health Performance Scorecard 

Find Vermont data, reports and publications on dental health: Plans & Reports

We partner to promote dental/oral health.

We work collaboratively with partners across the state and nation to support early preventive dental health – beginning in pregnancy.

We focus on evidence-based dental health strategies like fluoride varnish, community water fluoridation and dental sealants. Our mission is to reduce dental disease and promote dental health for all Vermonters.

The Vermont Oral Health Advisory Panel

The Vermont Oral Health Advisory Panel (VOHAP) is a group of people who are interested in promoting oral health equity in Vermont. The Vermont Department of Health’s Office of Oral Health coordinates the group, which includes representatives of statewide institutions, including dental professional organizations, dental career training programs, insurance companies, Agency of Human Services partners and Federally Qualified Health Centers, as well as individual members. We may come from different perspectives but we all share a passion for promoting oral health.

The group meets quarterly for two hours to learn about topics related to dental public health; the first hour is usually a presentation by a guest speaker or panel of speakers followed by Q and A, and time for updates and networking among VOHAP members. Previous topics include: school-based dental health, teledentistry and the Virtual Dental Home model, minimally invasive dental care, and health equity in dentistry. We do not have a recurring meeting time; meetings are scheduled based on speaker availability. 

In addition to learning about topics related to dental health, opportunities arise to work on ad-hoc projects. Most recently, members of the VOHAP updated our Vermont Oral Health Plan.

If you are interested in joining the Vermont Oral Health Advisory Panel or learning more about the Office of Oral Health, please email [email protected].

In This Section

Oral health is important, and establishing healthy habits shouldn’t be limited to regular visits to the dentist—in fact, there are many things that can be done right from home to benefit kids and adults. After all, maintaining healthy teeth and smiles to last a lifetime starts with small habits. 

The 802 Smiles Network connects Vermont's various school dental health programs under one umbrella. Its goal is to eliminate oral health disparities and improve oral health for all Vermont children.

Although medicine and dentistry have remained separate for many years, there is a connection between the health of the mouth and the health of the body. 

We want as many Vermonters as possible to have dental care. Use these searchable directories to find a dental practice in Vermont and dental health insurance or other health coverage.

Dental health is especially important for pregnant women because the bacteria that cause dental decay can be spread from mom to baby unknowingly.

For 70 years, community water fluoridation has improved dental health in Vermont. This is the single most cost-effective strategy a community can use to improve the oral health of its residents.

What we eat and drink has a big impact on our bodies, including our teeth. Below are resources to use at school, work and home to help promote snacks and beverages that are oral health friendly. 

Patients who have low socioeconomic status are most at risk for oral disease and have the least access to dental care. Many people who don’t receive regular dental care rely on their primary care physician to tell them if there is a problem.