Because many infants and toddlers do not visit a dentist at an early age, the Office of Oral Health, of Maryland’s Department of Health has integrated oral health programs into well baby physician visits, called Maryland’s Mouths Matter.  The Maryland Medicaid Program reimburses medical providers who apply fluoride varnish to children, ages 9 months to 36 months old. Providers are eligible to receive approximately $25 reimbursement for each varnish applied during an approved well-child visit.

Maryland’s fluoride varnish program continues to grow in both the number of providers enrolled in the program as well as in the number of fluoride varnish applications provided. Since the program began in July 2009, over 800 providers have been trained and over 130,000 fluoride varnish applications have been provided to children, ages 9 months to 36 months. 

Coordinated customer service and meaningful partnerships are key components driving the success of this program.  To launch this program, the Office of Oral Health in partnership with the Maryland School of Dentistry and the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center developed an in-person training program.  After its launch, the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (NMOHRC) converted this training program into an online training course. NMOHRC hosts this course in-kind and work seamlessly with the Office of Oral Health to share the training information necessary to trigger the fluoride varnish program’s enrollment process.

Once providers complete the training and are setup in the program, they are encouraged to call the Office of Oral Health’s Program Manager whenever assistance is needed (i.e. billing questions, ordering supplies, training a new provider, etc.).  These key partners include the Office of Oral Health, Medicaid, Division of Healthy Kids, and DentaQuest.  

Additionally, close relationships with and endorsements from local Medical Associations (Nurse Practitioners Association of Maryland, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in MD, American Academy of Pediatrics –Maryland Chapter and the Maryland Academy of Family Practitioners) only add to the cohesive and coordination.  Resources such as a Fluoride Varnish Newsletter are made available provide additional support and education.

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