Updated Consumer Health Sites for Mobiles.

October 27, 2014

The US National Library of Medicine has updated their mobile access for consumer health website MedlinePlus in English and en español.
See the announcement here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/so14/so14_medlineplus_mobile.html

Or, check out the sites!  @ http://m.medlineplus.gov/ and http://m.medlineplus.gov/spanish/

MedlinePlus includes information on Oral Health topics.


What You Should Know About Oral Health Literacy

November 24, 2008

Three resolutions were adopted by the ADA house of delegates at the annual meeting in October.  These resolutions recognize the importance of Oral Health Literacy and support the goal of ensuring that dental patients receive  “clear, accurate and effective communication”.

Health Literacy is defined as “the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions” (HRSA).

  • Patients with limited health literacy are less knowledgeable about preventive care, disease signs, symptoms and management
  • A large-scale national and representative study found that only 12 percent of U.S. adults have proficient health literacy
  • Research indicates a connection between health literacy and health outcomes

The resolutions adopted by the ADA:

  1. Affirm that clear, accurate and effective communication is an essential skill for effective dental practice
  2. Directs the ADA  to “urge the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to continue or expand its funding of health literacy research” through the NIH’s multi-institute health literacy program announcement
  3. Directs the Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations (CAPIR), in cooperation with other agencies, to “prepare a five-year strategic action plan to improve the oral health literacy of the public and report to the 2009 House of Delegates.”

The library has selected a variety of resources that may be used to help your patients understand their oral health needs and conditions.  These resources include handouts, videos, podcasts, websites and multi-lingual resources.  See the full list here.

Child and Adolescent Healthcare Quality and Healthcare Disparites Reports

November 14, 2008

The 2007 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report indicate disparities in oral health care quality, access, and utilization for children.

Since 2003, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has produced an annual National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report.  These studies are a “report card” on the Nation’s health.  Several measures featured in recent reports pertain to the oral health of children.

Key findings include:

  • The percentage of children ages 2-17 with a dental visit in the past year has increased and is now over 50 percent.
  • From 1999-2004, the proportion of children with untreated dental caries was higher for Blacks (24.4%) and Mexican Americans (31.2%) than for Whites (17%).
  • The percentage of children with a dental visit in the past year was lower for poor, near poor, and middle income children compared with high income children

The fact sheet, with links to the full report and detailed data tables may be viewed online.

Read recent articles, as indexed in PubMed.

Browse a list of internet resources pertaining to acess to oral health care.

Oral Health: The Public Speaks

October 20, 2008

The American Dental Association, in collaboration with Crest and Oral-,B conducted a national public opinion survey on oral health care.  The survey represented  1,000 Americans ages 18 and older, living in the continental United States. The survey focused on the following areas:

  • The public’s perceptions of their oral health care, with a special focus on African Americans, Hispanics and lower-income Americans
  • Americans’ knowledge of effective and essential oral health care habits
  • Oral health habits among the nation’s youth
  • The psychological benefits of a healthy smile

Key findings include:

  • Eight out of  ten Americans say taking care of one’s mouth, teeth and gums is “absolutely needed; however, only one-third of them say they do an “excellent” job taking care of them
  • One out of four parents describe their children’s job of taking care of their oral health as fair” or “poor”

More than one in three Americans say:

  • They think a little bleeding from brushing is normal (33%)
  • They are unaware that periodontal disease needs to be treated and cannot be left alone (33%)
  • They don’t know that poor oral health has been associated with serious health conditions such as stroke, heart disease  and diabetes (37%)

The full report and related documents are available on the ADA site.

Links to resources for educating your patients on oral health conditions, treatment and prevention may be found here.

Community Efforts to Expand Dental Services for Low-Income People

September 26, 2008

The Center for Studying Health System Change recently published an issue brief exploring the oral health of low-income people.  The brief identifies key barriers and attempts that are being made to provide dental services to these individuals.

The report includes sections on:

  • State Medicaid and SCHIP Policy Affects Dental Access
  • Significant Gaps in the Dental Safety Net
  • Community Efforts to Expand Dental Services
  • Implications

The authors conclude that low-income people will continue to lack access unless there is more involvement from the dental community and state and federal policy makers.

Read the full brief here.

First Ever World Oral Health Day!

September 12, 2008

The FDI World Dental Federation, the worldwide, authoritative and independent voice of the dental profession, has announced that the first Annual World Oral Health Day will be celebrated on Friday, September 12. The aim of this day is to increase awareness for oral health, as well as the impact of oral diseases on general health, well-being and national economies. For more information about World Oral Health Day visit FDI World Dental Federation.

More information on this topic here.

Kaiser Commission Releases New Reports on Dental Health Coverage and Access

July 30, 2008

At the July 25 Capitol Hill briefing, “Dental Health: Time to Address the Health Care System’s Neglected Stepchild?”, the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured released the following new reports and briefings:

  • Access to Affordable Dental Care: Gaps for Low-Income Adults
  • Filling an Urgent Need: Improving Children’s Access to Dental Care in Medicaid and SCHIP
  • Dental Coverage And Care For Low-Income Children:  The Role Of Medicaid And SCHIP

The reports, and a webcast of the briefing, may be found here.

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