Texas meets five of the eight policy benchmarks aimed at addressing children's dental health needs. The state's oral health program clarified that Texas allows hygienists working in school-based health centers to place sealants without a dentist's prior exam; however, about 75 schools (out of 8,000 high-risk schools) in the state have school-based health centers, and of these, only about a dozen schools provide dental care.1
Texas made progress this year by submitting basic screening data to the National Oral Health Surveillance System. Additionally, the state was one of three to receive funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen its oral health program.2 This funding will help Texas support and coordinate community water fluoridation and sealant programs.
1. Pew Center on the States survey of state dental directors, communication with Sandy Tesch, RDH, MSHP, September 17, 2010.
2. “CDC-Funded States”, http://www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/state_programs/cooperative_agreements/index.htm, (accessed October 20, 2010).