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Office of Oral Health

The New Mexico Office of Oral (OOH) Health goal is to increase the awareness of families, individuals, and organizations as to the importance of good oral health.

The services provided by the Office of Oral Health are to reduce the incidence of and increase access for those who are experiencing dental disease along with promoting oral health as part of general health.

Our mission is to ensure that all New Mexicans are provided opportunities for improving their oral health and overall health through access to prevention and treatment services and health education.

February Is Children's Oral Health Month!

Proclamation - February is Children's Oral Health Month
Smile Contest.


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The Office of Oral Health recommends the following tips:

  • Brush your teeth two times a day.
  • Brush your tongue.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Avoid soda and candy.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Chew sugarless gum.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year.

Program Information

School Based Dental Sealant Program

OOH staff conducts a school based dental sealant program. OOH provides this service to over 125 schools participating in the Federal Free or Reduced School Lunch Program. The program consists of providing oral health education, dental screening, application of the dental sealant, notifies the parent or guardian of the oral health status of the child and in Santa Fe County and Rio Arriba County participates in a dental case manager program.

Dental Case Manager Program

OOH and the Family Health Bureau, Children’s Medical Services (CMS) jointly provide a dental case management program to eligible low income and non-insured participating children in Rio Arriba County and Santa Fe County. The goal of this pilot project is to employ a dental case manager to improve access to oral health care and to reduce dental cavities in children 12 years of age and under. The dental case manager works with the various programs and community partners to schedule dental screenings, collaborates with oral health professionals to provide preventive dental services and provides follow-up services for those cases which need further dental care. The programs are: OOH dental sealant program, Head Start fluoride varnish project, WIC program and related Children Medical Services (CMS) activities.

Fluoride Varnish Program

Low income and non-insured children participating in Head Start, WIC, Families First and Cleft Palate programs receive oral health education, dental screenings, fluoride varnish applications and the services of the dental case manager. (Santa Fe and Rio Arriba Counties have the services of a dental case manager). Parents receive oral health education training (nutrition, dental hygiene, and injury prevention).

Dental Preventative and Treatment Services

OOH contracts with a number of dental providers throughout the State to provide dental preventative and treatment services to low income and non-insured New Mexicans. The services provided include providing dental sealants, fluoride varnish, and treating dental diseases. OOH coordinates the New Mexico Oral Health Surveillance System (NMOHSS) Advisory Committee. The Committees is responsible for conducting surveys, collecting dental data and analyzing oral health data. The information obtained identifies the oral health status of New Mexicans. The information is used by the State, local government, and the Legislature in the development and funding of oral health services.

Technical Assistance

OOH provides technical assistance to NMDOH, state, federal and community individuals and organizations.

New Mexico Health Systems Bureau

The Health Systems Bureau (HSB) provides leadership throughout the state of New Mexico on initiatives that improve health services, support health promotion, and strengthen local, regional, and statewide health systems such that all New Mexicans have opportunities to achieve the highest quality of health.

Health Data

New Mexico Oral Health Surveillance System (NMOHSS) Reports

New Mexico 2000 Oral Health Surveillance Data


  • 64% of all 3rd graders experience dental decay.
  • 34% of all 3rd graders have untreated dental decay.
  • 43% of 3rd grader has received a dental sealant.

Community Water Fluoridation

  • New Mexico is 77% fluoridated with only 18% consuming fluoridated water.
  • 18% of New Mexico residents receive optimal fluoridated water through the local water purveyor.

Prenatal Oral Health

  • 13% of new mothers were aware of dental issues during pregnancy.
  • 32% women received dental services during pregnancy.
  • 23% women recalled prenatal oral health discussions with a health care worker.
  • 48% women with a dental problem received dental care during pregnancy.

New Mexico General Information

  • New Mexico ranks 47th in poverty.
  • 22% of New Mexicans do not have medical/dental insurance.

New Mexico Dental Shortage

  • The median number of dentist to population is 1 to 3,297 compared to the federal standard of 1 to 1,050.
  • Inner-city and rural communities struggle to recruit and retain an adequately supply of dental providers 3 New Mexico counties do not have a dentist.


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New Mexico Associations