Mary Tavares

Dr. Mary Tavares

Corresponding Member of Faculty, Part-time
Dr. Mary Tavares

Dr. Tavares is the former Program Director of the AGE Program in Dental Public Health at the HSDM. She is also a Senior Clinical Investigator at The Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, MA. Currently, she is a Clinical Professor at Boston University, directing the Dental Public Health program. 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 dental care delivery system for children and she was a co-Principal Investigator in the NIH-funded New England Children's Amalgam Trial that 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 and has written several chapters and papers on the topic of obesity intervention in dental settings. She is the Principle Investigator of the Kuwait Healthy Lifestyle Study that, under Dr. Max Goodson, followed a cohort of children for 10 years, collecting blood and saliva samples to correlate with changes in BMI and diabetes status.

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. "If people are getting good dental care, 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."