We are leading efforts that promote the conversation on how improved oral health impacts overall health throughout a person's life.
Educate the public and policy makers about the importance of oral health for overall health.
Emphasize the need to prioritize oral disease alongside other serious health conditions.
Lead, participate and observe on legislative issues impacting oral health policies critical to OHA, our programs and stakeholders.
Throughout the course of the year, our individual efforts and campaigns will focus on how improved oral health impacts overall health for each age group across the lifespan, starting with Children and concluding with Older Adults before summarizing the Lifespan of oral health.
Why Does Oral Health Equity Matter?
Although the oral health of Americans has improved over the years, not everyone has the same opportunity to achieve optimal oral health. The situation worsens for those most vulnerable, especially children and older adults.
We believe that access to oral healthcare is an issue of social justice.
The Campaign for Oral Health Equity seeks to raise awareness about the most pressing issues in oral health, with the end goal of creating a level playing field and improving quality of life for all.
Equity for Children
1-in-5 children have dental cavities, making tooth decay the #1 health issue among our nation’s youth. Though CHIP guarantees dental coverage for 8 million low-income children, not all providers will accept CHIP or Medicaid. Families also face barriers securing transportation or affording additional care costs.
See how we are improving access to care through our Smiles Across America program.
Equity for Older Adults
The oral health of older Americans is in A State of Decay, the reasons for which are complex. The lack of affordable dental services--in part because Medicare does not cover dental--and programs that support oral health prevention contribute to unmet dental needs and edentulism (loss of all teeth) among older adults.
See how we are promoting change through our Wisdom Tooth Project program.