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WV Oral Health Program restructures statewide oral health education

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The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Office of Maternal Child and Family Health, Oral Health Program soon will finalize its changes to the state's oral health education system, rolling it out for the 2013-2014 school year.

Regional oral health coordinators, who are registered public health dental hygienists employed through Marshall University, will manage statewide oral health education.

The coordinators will provide oral health education training, assist in expanding school-based dental sealant and fluoride projects, promote good oral hygiene and work with local water systems on fluoride.

"The Oral Health Program is excited to embark on this endeavor," State Dental Director Dr. Jason Roush said in a news release. "The Program looks forward to working closely with West Virginia communities to provide children and their families with the knowledge and resources to achieve a lifetime of good oral health."

The West Virginia Oral Health Plan called for the OHP to work with the West Virginia Department of Education to evaluate and redefine the role of West Virginia's Oral Health Educators based on the state's oral health goals and objectives, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Community Preventive Services guidelines. The OHP also worked with the Oral Health Advisory Board and other community partners in developing the new system. According to DHHR, the recommendations were reviewed and applied to the redesign.