Grandfather, daughter and childA history of helping families and children improve oral health

The Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) Program was created in 1995 by public and private-sector partners in Spokane County concerned about the severe lack of access to dental care for the state’s most vulnerable preschool children.

Concerned dentists and dental educators as well as representatives from the public health department, the state dental association and state Medicaid Program (now Apple Health) came together to establish the first ABCD program in Spokane County.

That program’s success has led to ABCD’s adoption in every county across the state of Washington and has sparked interest and in several cases, adoption, by several other states.

In the nearly two decades ABCD has been improving access to dental care for families, the number of young Apple Health-eligible children in Washington receiving dental care has more than quadrupled. That and other results have brought state and national recognition of ABCD as an innovative and cost-effective “best practice” that’s improving the oral and overall health of children most at risk for dental disease.