Blog Posts


“I love our pediatrician, but I pray that he doesn’t leave our area because there are so many providers leaving,”
“Our partners in this effort helped us form one of the most unlikely bipartisan, cross-industry coalitions ever assembled in North
“I don’t just want whole-person care happening in the clinic, I want to see whole-person education as well.” Research shows
Dental cavities and gum disease remain the two most common oral health conditions—and they are often preventable. Cavities are also
As we step into 2024, we’re taking a moment to reflect on 2023 as we begin building on what we
Medicaid Expansion finally took effect statewide on December 1st, 2023, thanks to over a decade of advocacy by countless organizations
  At the 2023 NC Dental Hygienists’ Association Annual Session, Christina Bridges, QOM, LMBT, owner of Myofunctional Matters Therapy Partners,
As of January 2022, the U.S. Health Resource and Services Administration has partially or fully designated all 100 North Carolina
Bright-spots, pressing issues, and goals moving forward for oral health in North Carolina were on full display during Oral Health
For years, Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina has been health advocates’ proverbial white whale. When it comes to policy changes
Goodbye 2022, hello 2023! What a year… From a loooooong midterm election season to the World Cup, inflation, the war
After four years as the director of NCOHC, Dr. Zachary Brian has taken the next step in his career. Dr.
Daniel E. Dawes began his 2020 book, “The Political Determinants of Health,” with a story about a farmer looking for
A recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) signals a possible expansion of dental services available
There are stories about “midnight raids” in the 1960s depicting disability rights advocates in Berkeley, CA, smashing and re-paving curbs
As the monkeypox outbreak continues to spread, we sat down to explore what oral health connections exist, what is currently
Teeth aren’t the only things in your mouth that need to be cared for. From your gums to your tongue,
She vividly remembers waking up with a swollen jaw, tooth pain that wouldn’t go away, and a sinking feeling as
“It just kept happening, over and over and over again. Patients of record, patients I’d known for years. Either they
It’s no secret that there is an oral health care access gap for North Carolinians with Medicaid insurance. It’s practically
This year’s Oral Health Day was a tremendous success! Oral Health Day 2022 centered the work necessary to create a
A root canal is a dental procedure in which the soft center of the tooth, the pulp, is removed. The
Oral Health Day will look different this year. As the first two-day Oral Health Day event, you can expect new
On March 28, 2022, the Poor People’s Campaign held its first Moral Monday march in Raleigh since the COVID-19 pandemic
At NCOHC, we see integrated care structures at the center of a more equitable, accessible health care system. Oral health
Dentists may be one step closer to administering HPV vaccines in pursuit of whole-person health. Earlier this year, the American
COVID-19 has impacted virtually every aspect of human life for the past two years. From retaining steady employment and income
It is time to celebrate! National Dental Hygienist Week is the second week of April each year (April 4-10). During
The NCOHC team recently had the rare opportunity to venture out of our homes and wipe the dust off our
Dental offices are team operations. Take away your dentist or hygienist and the work will grind to a halt. The
“Managed Care” is transforming Medicaid in states across the country. In many cases, including in North Carolina, oral health is
Sometimes, the best prevention is a layer of protection. Take a baking sheet out of the oven and you’ll probably
The year is 2021. At the turn of the century, kids trading playing cards could never have imagined that in
2021 was quite the year! Of course, we could write an entire book about the ways that COVID-19 continues to
Happy holidays from the NCOHC Team! We hope that you are having a festive, relaxing holiday season. Here’s what our
On Nov. 18, Governor Roy Cooper signed the 2021 North Carolina state budget into law, the first budget the state
On April 8, 2002, Ray Krone was released from prison after serving 10 years for a murder he did not
The connection between oral health and overall health is increasingly clear, but you wouldn’t know it looking at the federal
Changes may be coming to help pregnant women in North Carolina access the care they deserve. Have you heard of
From pizza boxes to shampoo, and even some dental floss, PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are everywhere. These “forever chemicals” are
Let’s talk about annual maximums. The difference between an annual maximum and a deductible is arguably the most significant distinction
Dr. Rhonda Stephens, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Oral Health Section’s Dental
We are thrilled to introduce the newest member of the NCOHC team! Crystal Adams, a lifelong advocate for access and
Hannah Archer is an MPH student at UNC-Chapel Hill with a passion for public health dentistry. This summer, she worked
Cutout of proposed Senate Bill 146
A landmark piece of dentistry legislation became law in North Carolina on Friday, July 23, 2021. Senate Bill 146, sponsored
NCOHC hosted Oral Health Day 2021 on July 21st, featuring a speaker lineup with nationwide recognition, including a keynote address
Dr. Kelly Bailey is a student at UNC-Chapel Hill pursuing a Master of Public Health degree. She has a unique
Cutout of proposed Senate Bill 146
We can acknowledge it. “Oral health policy advocacy” is not exactly something you hear every day, right? Imagine meeting new
In the dental office, one experience, good or bad, can have a lasting impact. For too many people, negative experiences
Brushing Fido's Teeth
Your furry friends need regular oral health care, just like you. Unfortunately, good information can be hard to find, care
Oral health providers: Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more about a school-based oral
In order to build a more equitable oral health care system for all North Carolinians, it is paramount to pursue
Nearly a year ago, NCOHC launched a COVID-19 oral health access map. As dental offices transitioned to only offer emergency
Screenshot of the Teledentistry Fund video interviews with providers across NC
Last year, soon after the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States, those of us at NCOHC were working to devise
This month NCOHC welcomed a new Program Coordinator. As Sarah Heenan joins the team, we sat down with her to
Tooth with dollar sign eyes
We’d like to start off this blog post with a quote from the Terry Pratchett novel, “Men at Arms.” The
Cutout of proposed Senate Bill 146
On February 24, 2021, Senator Jim Perry and Representative Donny Lambeth filed legislation in the North Carolina House and Senate
Graphic with blog title,
What does “access” really mean? The American Dental Association Health Policy Institute (HPI) released a report earlier this year analyzing
Hannah Cheung is a second-year graduate student pursuing her master's degree in Public Health, and master's degree in Dental Hygiene
Overview image - map of access in NC
Haven’t had time to read the new HPI Report analyzing access for children and adults with Medicaid/CHIP insurance in North
At the beginning of the new year, the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute released a new statewide report on
Image of Dr. Jennifer S. Smith, an epidemiologist at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
In the early 1990s, cervical cancer was the most common cancer among women. Today, it has dropped to fourth place,
cracked tooth and COVID virus graphic
If it isn’t clear by now, COVID-19 is not just another flu. In November, the New York Times published an
Graphic displaying the differences between synchronous and asynchronous teledentistry
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it very clear that telemedicine is a necessary tool in most healthcare fields. Teledentistry in
Graphic with text,
As we move forward into the new year, it is important to be aware of policy changes that may directly
A newborn’s growing teeth are crucial to their overall development as a child. Baby teeth are the foundation for a
What is Fluoride Varnish?
Have you heard of fluoride varnish? This preventive treatment helps strengthen and protect teeth, reducing risk of tooth decay. Next
Headshot of Dr. Sylvia A. Frazier Bowers
When creating equitable health care systems, especially at a statewide level, policy plays an important role in driving sustainable, system-wide
Image of water taps
In North Carolina, nearly 90 percent of the population is serviced by fluoridated water. This is not the case in
What a year… Needless to say, 2020 has been a year for the history books. At NCOHC, we are so
Graphic - 10 tips & facts for your teeth
1. Brushing Your Tongue Can Help Bad Breath The tongue may actually hold more bacteria than your teeth. With its
The North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC) released its first policy brief earlier this year, outlining a broad array of
The importance of preventive oral health care is often underestimated. There are many basic habits that can be implemented daily
Dentists in North Carolina are uniquely positioned to begin administering some vaccinations, like those for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and
Still image from a video interview with Cori Davis, a MedFT intern with Greene County Health Care
Mental Health and Oral Health services have traditionally been thought of as separate entities. To better provide efficient, affordable care,
The most important element of childhood development is overall health. With schools nationwide facing unprecedented challenges during the current pandemic,
Last week we had the opportunity to take an in-depth look at teledentistry at Oral Health Day Part 2. Three
From the highest peaks east of the Mississippi to the unique sounds of bluegrass music, Western North Carolina is a
NCOHC released its first policy brief in the summer of 2020 to provide an overview of the many policy changes
Graph displaying Kintegra Health's new patient volume with and without dental navigators. In Gastonia with a navigator (2016), 970 new patients; in Statesville with no navigator (2016), 48 new patients; projected new patient volume in Statesville with navigator, 600
At Kintegra Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving several counties west of Charlotte, care coordination is increasing access
Picture of Dr. Rob Doherty talking to a patient via a computer webcam
In eastern North Carolina, Greene County Health Care (GCHC) is embracing teledentistry, one of many innovative steps they are taking
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Thousands of young children in the counties west of Charlotte receive annual dental care in their schools’ parking lots. With
“Historic and systemic structural racism are inherent parts of the United States,” said Jen Zuckerman, director of strategic initiatives at
“When we were all confined to our homes and only able to come out for essential needs, teledentistry came into play. It has opened up our ability to treat patients — we are now able to talk with someone face-to-face without actually being face-to-face.”
“Technology has really changed the field of dentistry since March,” said Dr. Katrina Mattison-Chalwe, Piedmont Health’s dental director, referring to
The Next Generation Dental Office is Here In the 21st century, modern dental practices have evolved to further place the
Graphic displaying social determinants of health
Parker Norman is an undergraduate student studying Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
It’s one of the most common questions in public health and the source of significant confusion in matters of health
Headshots of NCOHC interns Emily Stallings and Parker Norman
NCOHC has been fortunate to have two fantastic interns on our team this summer. Parker Norman and Emily Stallings are
Graphic with the words
Value-based care is coming to North Carolina. While dentistry may not be included in the first wave, oral health care
Map highlighting states in the US where dental hygienists are allowed to administer interim therapeutic restorations
The North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC) recently released its first policy brief. The document outlines changes to North Carolina’s
A graphic of healthy food for your teeth: leafy greens, fish and lean meats, beans, nuts, seeds, milk and dairy, eggs, and tofu
As some states reopen, others pause reopening, and more consider shutting down again, figuring out what is and isn't safe
Graphic depicting five social determinants of health: physical environment, structural & governmental influences, education, food, and economic stability
Where you live can have significant impacts on your oral health. NCOHC recently dove deep into the first of a
Picture of Dr. Rob Doherty, winner of the 2020 Janet Reaves Award
Janet Reaves was a tireless advocate for North Carolinians, working statewide to improve the health of those with chronic disease.
Headshots of the four students interviewed for the Graduating Remotely article
Remote graduation has been a melancholy reality for the class of 2020. It’s nearly impossible to replace the feeling of
2020 marks the fifth anniversary of Oral Health Day. Our annual advocacy event, which usually takes place in person at
Picture of Dr. Amanda Stroud
“If I start at the beginning, I have to say that I was extremely overwhelmed with everything that was going
“This pandemic is a perfect storm,” said Dr. Lisa Tyndall, an integration specialist with the Center of Excellence for Integrated
This past November, the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative welcomed two new staff members. Kelsey Ross Dew is NCOHC’s new
Oral Health Day opening slide from the Oral Health Day Webinar
Oral Health Day 2020 is going digital! At NCOHC’s Oral Health Day Webinar on April 29, we announced plans to
Graph comparing nationwide average patient volume of 3,505 per year to the needed patient volume of 4,080 per year to actually meet demand in North Carolina
The heart of oral health equity is a blend of improving actual health care delivery, modifying public policy, and influencing
Collage of the FHLI staff's pets
The North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative’s parent organization, the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation, moved to remote work back
Picture of Crystal Adams, Department Heat at Catawba Valley Community College, with quote pulled from text
Last week was National Dental Hygienists Week, so we sat down (virtually) with Crystal Adams, a dental hygienist and dental
Graphic depicting the potential risks of e-cigarettes, including gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer
With youth-oriented advertising depicting e-cigarettes as not only a cigarette alternative, but a clean, fun, and popular choice to make,
Types of Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancers
Every year, an average of 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with some form of oral cancer, killing one person every hour.
Depending on how long it takes to effectively respond to COVID-19, NCOHC is planning to host its annual Oral Health
This Friday, March 20, is World Oral Health Day. So, we decided to take a look at some of the
Last week, FHLI's North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative attended the UNC Adams School of Dentistry's Teledentistry Symposium, co-sponsored by the
Only 20 percent of a person’s health is the result of clinical care in a medical or dental provider’s office.
Last week, FHLI's North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative travelled with North Carolina oral health leaders to Charleston, South Carolina, for
Graphic displaying the differences between synchronous and asynchronous teledentistry
Let's take a moment to review an all-too-familiar scenario for many North Carolinians. Martha lives in rural Tyrrell County, North
Recap: The Oral-Systemic Connection Parts one and two of our series, "Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body," focused on heart disease, diabetes,
The North Carolina Public Health Association recently hosted its 2020 Public Health Leaders’ Conference, drawing professionals from across North Carolina
Recap: What is the Oral-Systemic Connection? New research is revealing the intricate connections between the health of our mouths and
On Thursday, January 16, 2020, the North Carolina Rules Review Commission gave its final approval of a rule change to
Your Mouth is Part of Your Body! It is easy to view oral health in a vacuum. We do see
Oral health care will soon be more accessible for young North Carolinians who have been systemically underserved. On December 13,
At NCOHC and the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI), we are reflecting on 2019 and planning for 2020.
Fluoridation is one of the greatest public health successes of the 20th century. Despite the overwhelming success of community water
There aren’t many people who really enjoy going to the dentist. Who wants to have someone poking around in your
What is Equity? You may have seen the comic below, which depicts three individuals watching a baseball game over a
“The more questions I asked, the more interested I became,” said Devin Olden to his fellow public health students at