Skip to Main Content
Text size: SmallMediumLargeExtra-Large

Privacy Policy

When you visit your privacy is very important to us. We do not collect information that will allow us to identify you personally unless you choose to provide such information to us.

However, some basic information about visits to our web site is automatically collected and stored. These data help us determine how many people are coming to the NIDCR site, how users typically find our site, and what information is of greatest interest to them. We use this data to improve our site and our visitors’ online experience.

Details about the information that is automatically collected and stored are provided below:

Types of Information Collected

  • Domain from which you access the Internet (Examples: or
  • IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you go on the Web)
  • Name and version of your computer’s operating system and browser (Examples: Windows 2007 and Internet Explorer 7.0)
  • Address of the website you came from (such as
  • Words or phrases you searched for
  • Pages you visited
  • How long you spend on our site

How NIDCR Collects Information

The NIDCR website uses Webtrends and Google Analytics measurement software to collect the information in the bulleted list in the Types of Information Collected section above. Webtrends and Google Analytics collect information automatically and continuously. No personally identifiable information is collected. NIDCR staff conducts analyses and reports on the aggregated data from Webtrends and Google Analytics. The reports are only available to NIDCR managers, members of the communications and web teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.

NIDCR also occasionally uses ForeSee Results' American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) online survey to collect opinions and feedback from a random sample of visitors.  Information gathered from the survey is completely anonymous and is used to improve our site.  Participation in the customer satisfaction survey is completely voluntary, and failure to respond will not affect your ability to access information on  The survey reports are only available to NIDCR managers, members of the communications and web teams, and other designated staff who require this information to perform their duties.

NIDCR retains the data from Webtrends, Google Analytics, and ACSI survey results as long as needed to support the mission of the NIDCR website.

How NIDCR Uses Cookies

The Office of Management and Budget Memo M-10-22, Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies, allows Federal agencies to use session and persistent cookies.

What is a Session Cookie?

A session “cookie” is a small piece of text generated by a Web server and temporarily placed on your computer when you visit a website. A session cookie improves your experience on the site by letting the server know that you are connected and continuing your visit to the site.  Session cookies do not collect any personally identifiable information about you.  When you close your browser, the session cookies are deleted from your computer. This means the next time you visit the site, it will not “recognize” your computer or have information about any of your past visits to the NIDCR site.

The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of session cookies as "Usage Tier 1 - Single Session."  The policy says, “This tier encompasses any use of single session web measurement and customization technologies.”

What is a Persistent Cookie?

A persistent cookie is also a small piece of text generated by a web server and placed on your computer when you visit a website. Unlike session cookies, persistent cookies are stored on your computer for longer periods.

NIDCR uses persistent cookies to enable Webtrends and Google Analytics to differentiate between new and returning visitors.  Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to the NIDCR website until they expire.

We also use persistent cookies to ensure you do not receive repeated invitations to take the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey.  Unless you delete them, these persistent cookies will reside on your computer for 30 days. Persistent cookies will not personally identify you or reveal whether you responded to the survey.

The OMB Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of persistent cookies as “Usage Tier 2—Multi-session without Personally Identifiable Information (PII).” The policy says, “This tier encompasses any use of multi-session Web measurement and customization technologies when no PII is collected.”

How to Opt Out or Disable Cookies

If you do not wish to have session or persistent cookies placed on your computer, you can disable them using your web browser. If you opt out of cookies, you will still have access to all information and resources at

Instructions for disabling or opting out of cookies in the most popular browsers are located at:  Please note that by following the instructions to opt-out of cookies, you will disable cookies from all sources, not just those from

How Personal Information is Protected

When inquiries are e-mailed to us, we temporarily store questions and e-mail addresses so we can respond electronically. Unless otherwise required by statute, we do not publicly identify anyone who sends questions or comments to our website.

You may also sign up to receive our e-newsletter via our website or request free oral health publications using the online publication order form. The information you provide (name and e-mail address for the e-newsletter; name, address, and telephone number for ordering publications) is used solely for the purpose of sending you our newsletter or the publications you wish to receive.

If you order publications from us, we will share your name, address, other contact information and the titles of the publications you requested with our clearinghouse, which stores and distributes publications for us. Only designated staff members or contractors requiring access to online requests or forms to respond have access to them.

The personally identifiable information you provide to us via e-mail or through the online publication order form is retained for one year. If you receive the e-newsletter, we retain your e-mail address as long as you are subscribed. 

If we store your personal information in a record system designed to retrieve information about you by personal identifier (name, personal e-mail address, home mailing address, personal or mobile phone number, etc.) so that we may contact you, we will safeguard the information you provide to us in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (5 U.S.C. Section 552a).

If NIDCR operates a record system designed to retrieve information about you in order to accomplish its mission, a Privacy Act Notification Statement should be prominently and conspicuously displayed on the public-facing website or form that asks you to provide personally identifiable information. The notice must address the following criteria:

  • NIDCR legal authorization to collect information about you
  • Purpose of the information collection
  • Routine uses for disclosure of information outside of NIDCR
  • Whether the request made of you is voluntary or mandatory under law
  • Effects of non-disclosure if you choose to not provide the requested information

Privacy Policy Part 2: Use of Third-Party Web Sites and Applications 

Questions about Privacy?

Questions about NIDCR privacy policies should be sent to the NIDCR Privacy Act Coordinator.

Kids' Privacy

Thank you for visiting the NIDCR website. We hope you have done so with the help of a parent or teacher because that is one of the best ways to explore the Internet and make sure that the sites you visit are educational and fun.

We are very interested in what you have to say. If you write to us or ask us a question, we use your e-mail address from your message to respond to you. It is up to you whether or not you tell us who you are. But please make sure it is okay with a parent or guardian before you do—and any other time you provide information online. If you are not sure it is okay with them, you can always come back and visit the site later, when you have their permission. While we cannot respond to your message without your e-mail address, you can still write to us and visit the website without providing any information about yourself.

Note to Parents:  Please see our official Privacy Policy Statement for the information we collect and maintain.



This page last updated: August 31, 2012