Oral Health in Rhode Island

Oral health is a critical but overlooked component of overall health and well-being among children and adults. Dental disease restricts activities in school, work, and home and often significantly diminishes the quality of life for many children, especially those who are low-income or uninsured.

Oral Health IllustrationRhode Island has made tremendous progress in improving access to oral health care for children in Rhode Island over the past decade. Continued investments in oral health, including expanded access to dental care, will help promote lifelong overall health for Rhode Island's children.

Poor oral health has immediate and significant negative impacts on children’s general health, school attendance and academic achievement. Untreated dental disease can lead to eating, sleeping, speaking and learning problems in children and adolescents. This affects a child’s social interactions, general health and quality of life. 

Oral health problems can largely be prevented through a combination of access to timely dental care, access to fluoridated water systems and topical fluoride treatments, healthy nutrition and habits, and at-home care.

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Rhode Island

  • HealthSource RI is Rhode Island's online health insurance marketplace. Just one application allows state residents to find out how they can qualify for low-cost or no-cost coverage and immediately enroll in a health and dental plan that's right for them.
  • The Rhode Island Dental Association is a professional organization of Rhode Island dentists.
  • The Rhode Island Oral Health Commission has been the foundation of many efforts to improve oral health in Rhode Island over the past decade. Members of the Commission include private practitioners, safety net providers, community organizations, state agencies, insurers, and other oral health advocates. The Rhode Island Oral Health Commission meets quarterly. Meetings are open and all are welcome to attend.
  • The Rhode Island Department of Health Oral Health Program focuses on prevention of oral disease through assurance of state-level oral health and public health leadership, documentation of the burden of oral disease in Rhode Island, and collaboration with statewide partners and the Rhode Island Oral Health Commission.
  • RIte Smiles is Rhode Island’s managed oral health program for children with Medicaid coverage.


  • Annie E. Casey Foundation National Data Center – Dental Health Indicators
    Rhode Island KIDS COUNT contributes data to the national KIDS COUNT Data Center, which is managed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.The national KIDS COUNT Data Center connects you to over four million data points about the well-being of children and families in each state and across the country. You can easily access hundreds of indicators related to health, education, employment and income, child welfare, and many other topics. The Data Center is free and available to all.
  • The American Dental Association is the nation's largest dental association and is the leading source of oral health related information for dentists and their patients.
  • The Children's Dental Health Project works to improve children's oral health and expand access to quality dental care.
  • The DentaQuest Foundation was established in 2000. The Foundation's mission is to improve the oral health of all. The Foundation collaborates with partners in communities across the United States, connecting key stakeholders, raising awareness, and supporting solutions.
  • The National Association of Dental Plans is the largest non-profit, national trade association focused exclusively on the entire dental benefits industry.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the health, safety, education, economic security, and development of Rhode Island’s children.


Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
One Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


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