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What Is Dental Public Health?

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Dental Public Health brings government-sponsored oral health care to communities. The goal is to achieve optimal oral health among Americans through education, disease prevention, and dental health promotion. They provide assistance and programs for individuals who don’t have access to dental care. Some of their efforts are geared towards students, seniors, and expectant mothers. Here are some examples of how their efforts help.

Public Health Dental Care for Students

Good dental health can assist kids in their education. According to the CDC, kids who don’t have access to dental care have lower grades and miss more school. Cavities and other types of dental issues can affect their performance in school and overall health. One example of how Dental Public Health has helped out is by getting dental sealants into the mouths of kids who don’t have access to them. The CDC estimates dental sealants can reduce child tooth decay by more than 70 percent. So, several states have implemented school-based programs that provide sealants to children from low-income families at risk for cavities.

Public Health Dental Care for Senior Citizens

According to the CDC, seniors are at high risk for cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, and other dental issues. At a time when it’s more important than ever to keep up with routine preventative dental appointments, seniors who have low-income may not get the care they need. Often, the dental cost is the reason. Some of the dental public health solutions include community outreach programs, like the one at Tufts School of Dental Medicine, which teaches the elderly about denture care and provides oral health and cancer screenings.

Public Health Dental Care for Expectant Moms

Dental care during pregnancy is critical. Keeping up with routine appointments and addressing issues that arise is crucial during pregnancy because not only does it affect the mom’s body, it affects the baby’s health too. Expecting moms should stay informed and in charge of their overall health, including dental health. Agencies on the federal, state, and local levels provide resources and information to expecting moms in their communities.

Dental Public Health improves the lives of those in the U.S. who can’t afford or don’t have access to dentistry care while increasing awareness of the importance of oral care for all. If you or someone you know needs help getting dental care, contact your local health department and see which options are available for your dental and personal care.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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