Group of smiling preschool students smiling and laughingResults

ABCD has dramatically increased the number of Apple Health (Medicaid) insured children birth up to six who access dental care over the past two decades. Washington is a national leader. In 2018, more than 54 percent of low-income young children in the state received care, compared to only 20 percent in the early 2000s. Significant gains have been made for the youngest children (FY2018):

  • 33 percent of Apple Health children under age two now receive care.
  • 17 percent of eligible children under age one now receive care.

Nationally published research has clearly demonstrated that the early preventive care that ABCD promotes can substantially reduce future dental care costs.

Studies have also demonstrated that ABCD is a cost-effective system of care that of improves the oral health of Medicaid-insured young children.

National and State Recognition for ABCD

California’s Little Hoover Commission recommends to their legislature that they consider adopting the ABCD Program model to make care more broadly available and improve children’s dental participation rates in California’s Medicaid Program. Arcora Foundation provided technical assistance, a written report, and testified before the commission. (2015)

Pew Center on the States recognizes the ABCD program as a “proven strategy that can help policy makers prevent these consequences and deliver a strong return on taxpayers’ investment.” (2010)

Testimony before the United States Congress about the impact of Washington’s ABCD Program (2009)

Children’s Defense Fund recognizes ABCD as an effective program to address children’s health disparities in a Children’s Defense Fund report. (2006)

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation names the ABCD program as one of three innovative oral health models nationally. The study examined community-based activities across the country which are improving the oral health of vulnerable populations. (2005)

Oral Health America gives ABCD an “A” grade in its 2005 report titled “A for Effort.” By receiving an “A” grade for ABCD, Washington is one of eight states earning top grades for improving oral health. (2005)

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) selects ABCD as one of their “best state practices.” Thirty-nine states submitted 116 descriptions of successful dental public health practices to the ASTDD Best Practices Project. (2004)

The Washington Health Foundation gives ABCD the “Heroes of Health Care” award for collaboration. (2003)

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry names ABCD a “best practice.” The Academy, under a three-year HRSA grant, sought programs that use resources efficiently and are culturally competent, replicable, integrated and sustainable. (2001)

ABCD Outcomes

Smile Survey 2015 – 2016, Washington State Department of Health, 2017

Improving Dental Care for Medicaid-Insured Children in Washington State, The Pew Center on the States, 2010

Washington State’s Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) Program, Association‌ of‌ State‌ &‌ Territorial‌ Dental‌ Directors, 2009

The effectiveness and estimated costs of the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry program in Washington state,  Journal of American Dental Association, 2005

The ABCDs of Treating the Most Prevalent Childhood Disease, American Journal of Public Health, 2005