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BLOCK Oral Disease – Connect Oral Health to Every

Families have a new ally for preventing cavities and promoting oral health for youngsters at higher risk for developing cavities – their pediatricians. Since October 2008, MassHealth has been reimbursing Massachusetts health care providers for applying fluoride varnish on the teeth of children at higher risk for developing cavities. This benefit applies to MassHealth-eligible children up to age 21. Fluoride varnish is a topical fluoride solution shown to be effective in preventing cavities. It takes only a few minutes to paint on the teeth during a routine medical visit. In order to provide this service, health care providers must participate in an approved training about oral health and fluoride varnish application and the reimbursement process.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Oral Health offers the BLOCK Oral Disease Training, which is a MassHealth approved training. This training is available to health care providers online at www.mass.gov/dph/oralhealth or by scheduling an in-office training through the Office of Oral Health.

Has your pediatrician talked to you about your child’s teeth or the benefits of fluoride varnish to prevent cavities? The BLOCK Training helps pediatricians provide guidance to families about good oral health practices and disease prevention to ensure children enjoy optimum health. Ask your pediatrician or other health providers if they have taken the BLOCK Training. Encourage them to begin offering fluoride varnish as part of the well-child visit. After all, a healthy mouth is crucial for having a healthy body.

To learn more about the benefits of fluoride varnish or the BLOCK training, call Lynn Bethel, Director of Oral Health at 617-624-6074 or e-mail Oral.Health@state.ma.us.