Illinois Department of Public Health

The Illinois Department of Public Health is responsible for protecting the state´s 12.4 million residents through the prevention and control of disease and injury. IDPH has 200 different programs that benefit literally each state resident and visitor, although its daily activities of maintaining the public´s health are rarely noticed unless a breakdown in the system occurs. With the assistance of local public health agencies, these essential programs and services make up Illinois´ public health system, a system that forms a frontline defense against disease through preventive measures and education.

Division of Oral Health programs are designed to assure that the people of Illinois have access to population-based interventions that prevent and reduce oral disease and promote oral health as integral to health through organized community efforts. The goal of the Division of Oral Health is optimal oral health for all residents of Illinois. Principle programs administered by the Division of Oral Health include:

Illinois Community Water Fluoridation Program. Community water fluoridation is the most effective public health measure available to prevent and control dental caries. Illinois is one of only twelve states that have mandatory fluoridation laws. Since the health benefits of fluoridation are most beneficial when the fluoride level is maintained within this optimal range, the Division of Oral Health monitors community water supplies and provides education and technical expertise to the water supply operators in order to keep fluoride levels optimal. More than 85% of the Illinois population received benefits of fluoridated water.

The Private Well Testing Program enables Illinois residents who do not reside in areas served by community water supplies to determine the fluoridation level of their water. The Division of Oral Health and IDPH laboratories will test the fluoride level for private wells serving homes and mobile home communities where children reside.

The Dental Sealant Grant Program targets high-risk Illinois schoolchildren by granting funds and giving technical assistance to public health service providers to develop and implement community dental sealant programs. When combined with appropriate use of fluorides, dental sealants can virtually eradicate dental decay, the most prevalent dental disease in our society.

The Oral Health Needs Assessment and Planning Program assists communities in Illinois plan comprehensive oral health programs specifically to meet community needs.

The Orofacial Injury Control and Prevention Program/Project Mouthguard is an injury control initiative designed to reduce the incidence of orofacial sports injuries by increasing knowledge and awareness among Illinois schoolchildren regarding the importance of preventing these types of injuries and implementing community-based programs to extend the requirement for mouthguard use among children who participate in athletic activities.

The Craniofacial Anomaly Program targets the families of infants born in Illinois with cleft lips or palates. The goal of the Craniofacial Anomaly Program is to improve the identification, reporting and early intervention of cleft lip and cleft palate in Illinois.