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Action for Dental Health

Bipartisan support in House

June 04, 2014

By Craig Palmer

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho 

Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill. 
Washington—Dentist/Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, asked and was given permission to address the House of Representatives for one minute.

The video can be found on YouTube and the text is available by visiting, clicking on "Congressional Record" on the left side of the page and searching for "H5056."

"Mr. Speaker, we are in the midst of a dental health crisis in this country. In 2010, 181 million Americans didn't see a dentist. More than 50 percent of Americans over the age of 30 suffer from some sort of periodontal disease, and estimates suggest that 25 percent of children under the age of 5 already have cavities.

"It is time to take action. This is why the American Dental Association last year launched Action for Dental Health: Dentists Making a Difference, a nationwide, community-based movement focused on delivering care now to people already suffering from dental disease, strengthening and growing the public-private safety net to provide more care for more Americans and bringing dental health education and disease prevention into underserved communities.

"I urge all of my colleagues to read the Action for Dental Health Year One Report to Congress to learn more about this movement and its progress, and I yield back the balance of my time."

Dental leaders from across the country delivered the Year One Report to Congress during ADA's May 19-21 Washington Leadership Conference. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., on April 3 introduced the ADA-backed Action for Dental Health, HR 4395, to advance dental initiatives by amending the Public Health Service Act "to improve essential oral health care for lower-income individuals by breaking down barriers to care."