Tooth decay is the most common infectious, chronic childhood disease. It is five times more common than asthma.
Tooth decay affects more than just teeth; it hurts overall health and productivity, increases health care costs,
and decreases overall quality of life. Nearly everyone experiences tooth decay by the time they are an adult.
Tooth decay is preventable.
The Oral Health program monitors oral health in Snohomish County, promotes healthy
oral health behaviors, and provides tooth decay prevention programs.
Water Fluoridation in Snohomish County
Fluoride exists naturally in virtually all water supplies. Water is "fluoridated" when a public water system adjusts the fluoride to a level known to prevent tooth decay. Improving dental health is the reason the city of Everett began water fluoridation in 1992. Everett's system is the source of about 75 percent of Snohomish County's drinking water.
Although other fluoride-containing products like toothpaste are available, water fluoridation remains the most cost-effective method of delivering fluoride to all members of a community, regardless of age, educational attainment or income level. Community water fluoridation costs about $1 per person per year, and is estimated to save $38 in dental costs for every dollar invested.
For more information about community water fluoridation:
Oral Health Services
Information about local dental resources is provided on this webpage and on a recorded telephone message. Oral
Health staff contact dentists and clinics every quarter and update the list of those that take medical coupons (DSHS)
or offer lower cost dental care.
The Public Health Dental Hygienist is available to assist those with difficulty finding dental care that meets their needs.
The recorded message is available round the clock. Information about lowest cost resources for preventive, urgent and
emergent dental care in Snohomish County is available at 425.339.5219 or in the Dental Care Resources in Snohomish County below.
Dental Care Resources in Snohomish County
Dentists stop taking new patients with Medicaid coverage when patients with Medicaid miss visits. Missed visits cost dentists money.
Dentists like to be called as soon as patients know the visit time must be changed, so the appointment can be given to another person.
Last minute changes mean the time is not filled with another person. Medicaid pays the dentist much less than other types of dental
insurance. This payment is less than what other people or insurers pay for the same dental care. Less than 10% accept Medicaid coverage
for adults. Private dentists usually do not provide dental care at a reduced cost.
Dental Resources (28.1.11)
1) Community clinics and other resources that offer sliding fee scale and other low cost options for dental care. 2) Private dentists who have agreed to accept patients with Medicaid coverage at this time. [ This list is updated quarterly. ]
Snohomish County Dental Resources
Oral Health Reports
The oral health program looks at how our community can have a healthy mouth and healthy
teeth. Dentists, children and adults, dental policies, costs of dental care, schools,
daycares, water districts, and other community programs are surveyed.
Oral Health Surveys
Snohomish Health District periodically evaluates the oral health of Snohomish County
residents by participating in assessments of state and local oral health and
availability of dental care.
List of Oral Health Surveys:
Oral Health Education
Fluoride and dental sealants stop tooth decay. The Oral Health program provides
classes for families and professional trainings.
Oral Health Regulations
List of Washington State Laws Related To Oral Health:
Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
List of Oral Health Resources: