Consumer News: ADA becomes first dental organization to join health literacy resource

Dental patients will soon have a new resource supported by the American Dental Association to help them answer questions about their oral health care. The ADA announced in July it is the first dental organization to collaborate with Choosing Wisely, an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and Consumer Reports that aims to help patients make smart choices about their health care.

"Our overriding goal in participating in Choosing Wisely is to help our patients be more educated," said Dr. Cesar Sabates, ADA spokesperson and chair of the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations. "We see participating in Choosing Wisely as an important opportunity to help foster informed conversations between patients and their dentists."

The website provides lists of scientific and evidence-based recommendations from more than 70 national and state medical specialty societies and other consumer and health organizations.

The dental portion of the website is expected to launch later this year and includes information about sealants; when to consider replacing fillings; what to do about jaw pain; how to calm children during dental procedures; and advice from Consumer Reports about how to pay for dental care and get a dental benefit plan. "Becoming the first dental organization to partner with Choosing Wisely reinforces the ADA's commitment to being the leading advocate of oral health and the premier source for trusted dental information," said Dr. Sabates.

The ADA's participation in Choosing Wisely was funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dentists and patients can learn more about the ADA's participation in Choosing Wisely at ADA.org/ChoosingWisely.

The ADA's website, MouthHealthy.org, also offers information about dental care concerns, including a dental symptom checker.

© 2017 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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  • Foods high in sugar are a particularly common cause of tooth decay. Making these foods a treat rather than a staple will help protect your teeth.

  • To maintain a balanced diet, eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups.

  • When choosing a snack, go for nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or a piece of fruit.