The following is a release from the New Mexico Department of Health:

 The New Mexico Department of Health is raising awareness about tooth decay.

 “Tooth decay in children is a chronic condition that can be prevented,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Brushing twice a day, drinking plenty of water and eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables can help prevent tooth decay.”

The Department of Health’s Office of Oral Health contracts with dental providers throughout the state to provide preventative dental treatment services to low income and uninsured New Mexicans. The services include dental sealants, fluoride varnish and treating dental diseases. The Office of Oral Health provided prevention and treatment services to 7,390 New Mexico children during the 2012 – 2013 school year.

Hispanics, American Indians and African Americans have more oral health disease than whites. That’s because of a lack of good oral hygiene, a lack of dental insurance and a lack of dentists, especially in rural areas.

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.

The Department of Health, City of Santa Fe, Presbyterian Medical Services, Santa Fe Public School District, Santa Fe Public school nurses, Villa Teresa Catholic Clinic, Con Alma Foundation and many partners are working on outreach projects for the month of February. Some of the projects include dental sealant clinics, fluoride varnish clinics and children’s dental clinics.

Governor Susana Martinez has proclaimed February as Children’s Oral Health Month in New Mexico.

You can visit for more information about the Department of Health’s Office of Oral Health.