Mary Tavares, DMD, MPH

Mary Tavares, DMD, MPH

Contact Information

Harvard School of Dental Medicine
188 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-432-1357

Mary Tavares, DMD, MPH

Dr. Tavares is the Program Director of the Advanced Graduate Education Program in Dental Public Health at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She is also a Senior Clinical Investigator at The Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, MA.   A graduate of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, she received an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health and a certificate in Dental Public Health from Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine.   Dr. Tavares is a 1990 alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Health Services Research Fellowship for dental faculty.

With a research career spanning three decades, Dr. Tavares was part of a Forsyth team that collaborated with the Kuwait Ministry of Health to create a demonstration program featuring a state of the art dental care delivery system for children in the 1980’s.  She still travels to Kuwait as an advisor with the Kuwait School Oral Health Program.  Additionally, Dr. Tavares was a co-Principal Investigator in the NIH-funded New England Children’s Amalgam Trial which examined the safety of using mercury amalgam fillings in children.

Currently Dr. Tavares’ research looks into the connection between systemic and oral health, with a particular focus on obesity and diabetes.  She developed The Healthy Weight Intervention program for children to be used in dental offices.  She has written several chapters and papers on the topic of obesity intervention in the dental setting.

With a focus on both clinical and public health research, Dr. Tavares is interested in bringing about policy change that has an impact on dental health. Her ultimate goal is to ensure better oral health and overall wellness for the community.  “If people are getting good dental care, which is of course our hope, they are seeing a dentist on a regular basis.  This provides the ideal platform for prevention and wellness programs in which the profession should participate. ”