A Message from Vikki Wachino, Acting Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services: THINK TEETH!

March 20, 2015

Today the Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign joins many of our partners who have participated in a week-long blog carnival, hosted by the Children's Dental Health Project, to raise awareness of the dental benefits available through Medicaid and CHIP. More eligible children than ever before have health coverage through Medicaid and CHIP, and as a result, also have access to dental care. We acknowledge the efforts of state Medicaid and CHIP agencies, health care providers, schools, community organizations and many others whose hard work has contributed to this progress. Thank you!

At the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, we've learned that a great way to boost the enrollment of eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP is to let their families know that these programs provide essential dental benefits. While check-ups, teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments, dental sealants and fillings might not sound like fun to kids, they really matter to parents who are doing everything they can to make sure their children get healthy and stay healthy.

In a national survey of 1,900 parents with eligible children, 68 percent said that Medicaid and CHIP dental benefits are a top factor motivating them to enroll. This finding motivated us to develop the Think Teeth initiative, a vibrant part of our national Connecting Kids to Coverage outreach and enrollment campaign.

Think Teeth

Think Teeth features posters and flyers that focus on the importance of good oral health care for pregnant women, for babies and toddlers, and for school-aged children and teens. Each piece includes that all-important enrollment message, directing families to more information about Medicaid and CHIP and how to enroll. Once their children are enrolled, our online Dentist Locator Tool can help families find a near-by dentist who cares for Medicaid and CHIP patients. We’re also working to help families with children who have special health care needs. Our latest educational fact sheet is designed to help such families, whose children may face particular challenges keeping their teeth healthy and may need a dentist who has special training and experience.

The Think Teeth posters and flyers can be ordered free of charge. And we're happy to customize the materials with your organization's name, logo and contact information (you take care of the printing). Check out InsureKidsNow.gov to find all these materials, ordering instructions and more.

As we work to see that every child has access to health coverage and the health care they need, we know that good oral health is critical. That’s why we Think Teeth. We encourage all Connecting Kids to Coverage partners to join us!

Thanks for all your efforts to make sure America’s children are healthy children!

- Vikki Wachino

Did You Know? More Children with Medicaid Coverage Are Getting Dental Care

Steady Progress in Access to Dental Care  

Want to learn more about oral health care and successful Connecting Kids to Coverage outreach strategies? View our Think Teeth webinar.

3 Ways to Stay Connected With the National Campaign

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  • Contact us to get more involved with the National Campaign at ConnectingKids@cms.hhs.gov or 1-855-313-KIDS (5437).

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