- Children & Youth
- Mosaic of Care-giving
- Teen & Young Adult Oral Health
- Promoting Oral Health Using Social Media
Activity sheets: Activities for the Whole Family
Oral Health Equity
Health equity is defined as attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires: valuing everyone equally, focusing on societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, recognizing and rectifying historical injustices, addressing contemporary injustices, eliminating health and healthcare disparities, and assuring structural and personal conditions are in place to support optimal health. However, oral health has been left out of public health and healthcare dialogue, including conversations on health equity and social justice.
References: Adapted from Healthy People 2020 and Dr. Camara Jones
Race/ Ethnicity, Income And Oral Health
Historically certain minority or disadvantaged population groups based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, income, and education level have suffered from poor oral health and health outcomes. Such disparities are indicative of systemic issues that continue to affect the most vulnerable groups of the population, and what has been achieved or supported in addressing and/or eliminating these barriers. Public health programs, and professionals have made significant progress on general physical health, supported by creating and sustaining an evidence-based, data-driven culture across all levels of the system. Unfortunately, oral health has been a neglected issue in these efforts mainly due to historical injustices, unfavorable public policies, and politically and socially unjust climates, lack of useful, relevant, and local data about oral health-creating gaps in services that support or sustain improved oral health. For equitable oral health outcomes to be possible a data-driven, evidence-based ecosystem for eliminating oral health disparities is essential.
- Trends In Racial/Ethnic Disparities In Medical And Oral Health, Access To Care, And Use Of Services In US Children: Has Anything Changed Over The Years?
- Prevalence Of Oral Health Problems In U.S. Adults, NHANES 1999-2004: Exploring Differences By Age, Education, And Race/Ethnicity
- Trends In Decayed Teeth Among Middle-Aged And Older Adults In The United States: Socioeconomic Disparities Persist Over Time
- Explaining Racial/Ethnic Disparities In Children’s Dental Health: A Decomposition Analysis
Access And Disparities
In 2006, about 60% of children in low-income families had no dental visit in the past year, compared with only 40% of children in higher-income families. The low percentage of people who receive regular dental care is troubling. According to the CDC, most oral diseases are avoidable, with the timely administration of preventive care.5 Failure to address oral health with timely preventive care may result in costly visits to hospital emergency rooms, especially for children in low-income households.
There are many contributing factors to this disparity. Identifying dental providers who accept Medicaid and other public dental insurance can be difficult. Transportation and finding participating providers are significant barriers for low-income and rural populations. In addition, lack of understanding and emphasis on the importance of oral health and oral healthcare by individuals and health professionals can be a significant barrier to accessing such care.
- All Smiles: New Missouri Dental School Aiming To Reduce Oral Health Care Gaps Graduates First Class
- Dental Health Should Not Be A Luxury, Dentist Says
- The Importance Of Data-Driven Dental Outreach Programs
- Access To Oral Health Care: A National Crisis and Call for Reform
Behaviors And Oral Health Equity
Systematic Reviews: A Systematic Review of Oral Health Behavior Research in American Adolescents
Fact-sheets and Charts: