Press Release

December 14, 2009

U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that the omnibus appropriations bill that has passed Congress includes $1.2 million in funding for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Oral Health.
  The funding will be used for a campaign to educate low-income, high-risk families about the importance of oral health care.


“Dental care is an essential part of appropriate medical care,” said
Senator Cardin.
  “In 2007, 12-year-old Deamonte Driver from Prince George’s County died from a brain infection caused by a tooth abscess.
  Treating a cavity takes very little time or effort, but the death of a child from tooth decay is a national tragedy we must make sure never happens again. This outreach campaign will help educate parents about the importance of dental care and preventive services.”


“In the United States of America, we shouldn’t lose kids because they don’t have access to a dentist,”


Senator Mikulski


said. “This campaign will keep the memory of Deamonte Driver alive by helping Maryland’s kids get the information and dental care they need to stay healthy.”


The Dental Action Committee will contract with the University of Maryland School of Public Health for a statewide oral health campaign that will target low-income families and oral health care providers. The goal is to ensure that families understand the importance of oral health care and preventive behaviors, including the need to keep dental appointments. Good oral hygiene can help reduce health care costs by preventing more serious medical conditions from developing.