Solutions for Oral Health in Florida

Support School-Based Care for Children

Making dental care available in community settings, like schools, can increase access and improve health.

Include a Comprehensive Adult Dental Benefit in Medicaid

Currently, adults with Medicaid in Florida are only covered for pain relief in an emergency, not for oral health prevention or needed dental care. Providing adults on Medicaid with full dental benefits can improve access to care and oral health and help reduce unnecessary and costly ER use.

Authorize Dental Therapists

Dental therapists are highly-trained oral health practitioners that provide education and preventive services as well as common dental procedures, such as filing cavities. Authorizing dental therapists in Florida would improve access to care, especially to people living in underserved areas.

Fund Dental School Loan Repayment Programs

Florida has a loan repayment program for dentists who see low-income patients, but the program hasn't been funded by the legislature.

"Roughly one in four (5,073,822) Floridians live in areas designated by the federal government as having a shortage of dentists."

Source: Health Resources and Services Administration

Join the Sign-on Letter for Better Oral Health in Florida

This letter will be shared with elected officials, the media, and the community to advance policies that improve oral health in Florida. Select the proposals you support at the bottom of the form!

The undersigned individuals and organizations share a commitment to advancing the health and development of all Floridians. We urge you to support legislation that improves access to oral health for vulnerable communities around the state.


Many Floridians, including millions of children, do not have access to the dental care they need to maintain their oral and overall health. This problem is costly to the state and harmful to the health of Florida’s children and families.

  • In 2016 alone, Florida hospitals billed more than half a billion dollars for treatment of dental conditions that could have been avoided by providing access to preventive and routine dental care.

  • Also, in 2016, 1.4 million children on Medicaid did not see a dentist all year.

  • Nearly 5.5 million Floridians live in areas without enough dentists to meet community need.


There are policy options lawmakers can support right now to increase access to dental care, improve the health of Floridians, and use public dollars efficiently.

Learn More

The OPEN_Florida Alignment Network is a community of individuals and organizations committed to improving access to oral health care because every person deserves to thrive. 

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High Deductibles Put Prevention Out of Reach

I would like to see a dentist, but right now I can’t afford another bill. They offer the dental coverage through the Marketplace, but they want too much on a monthly basis. I get lots of phone calls from dental insurance companies, but the cost is too high. I can get a cleaning in my local community for $30, which is what the dental insurance companies are asking for a monthly premium. I need a molar replaced, but that will cost me much more.


E.B., Pinellas County

Read the full story here. 

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