WHO's oral health work focuses on strengthening cost-effective promotion of oral health and oral health care across the population within the primary care system. Oral health refers to the health of the teeth, gums and the entire oral-facial system that allows us to smile, talk and chew. Some of the most common diseases affecting our oral health include tooth decay (tooth decay), gum disease (periodontal) and oral cancer. Normally, the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, keep bacteria under control.
However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that could cause oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease. The lack of affordable oral health care due to direct payment or limited cost-sharing mechanisms often makes oral health a political problem. Over the past 20 years, the oral health care workforce, education, and practice have changed substantially to improve access to care and better integrate oral and general health care and outcomes. Paying for needed oral health care is one of the main reasons for catastrophic health spending, resulting in an increased risk of impoverishment and economic hardship.
Whether you are an individual looking to keep your teeth healthy or a health professional who wants to help people maintain a beautiful smile, you have many choices to make when it comes to oral health care. You can choose to work in a dental office, as a dental hygienist in a community setting, or you can work to raise awareness about oral health.
Increasing awareness of oral health
Increasing awareness of oral health care is important because oral health is a critical indicator of overall health. Not only are oral diseases related to many systemic health problems, but many diseases show up as signs and symptoms in the mouth. It is also important to learn how to prevent tooth decay and other oral diseases.
Dental health is not always easy to access, and not many people can afford preventive dental care. In order to combat this, oral hygienists can play a crucial role in promoting good oral health.
Inequalities, inequities, and disparities in oral health
Efforts to combat inequalities, inequities, and disparities in oral health care should begin with action in the political, social, and economic spheres. These spheres are essential in identifying neighborhoods with inadequate access to services. These areas could then be targeted for public health outreach and innovation.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes the impact of social determinants of health on children's oral health and encourages the implementation of clinical management protocols informed by SDH. These strategies should include the integration of oral health and primary health care. This integration can help address gaps in oral health care across the lifespan.
Access to oral health care in the United States
Despite the recent progress in closing the gaps in oral health care, there remain significant disparities. Access to oral health care in the United States is impeded by a variety of factors. For example, children living in low-income families are more likely to have untreated tooth decay, while individuals with lower incomes have less access to dental care. Moreover, rural residents have less access to dental care than urban residents.
A National Research Council (NRC) committee has studied the need for and access to oral health care in the United States. The report identifies successes and recommends strategies to improve the delivery of oral health care.
Barriers to accessing oral health care in Nova Scotia
Providing good oral health care is important to individuals, families, and communities. In Canada, access to care depends on a variety of factors. However, one common barrier remains: cost. Those without insurance often have to pay out of pocket for oral health care services. This can be a real barrier to improving oral health.
A pan-Canadian approach to oral health care could help ensure that all Canadians are able to access care. This should include integration of qualified oral health professionals into health care teams and working with relevant organizations and stakeholders to optimize access to oral health care services.
Preventive programs for school going children
Whether it's dental sealants or fluoride toothpaste, a school-based oral health program has proven to be effective in improving the oral health of children. The benefits of such a program include increased access to care, reduced dental decay, and decreased missed educational time. In addition, the cost of care could be reduced, as well as barriers to care eliminated.
In California, law requires that an oral health assessment be performed before a child enters a public school. This is particularly important for children who are more likely to have dental decay.
Dental hygienists in non-dental community settings
Licensed dental hygienists are a vital part of the dental healthcare team. They help to prevent dental disease and provide therapeutic and educational services to patients. They perform oral health screenings, apply fluoride, develop radiographs, and provide oral hygiene education.
Dental hygienists can also pursue a career in research. They may also consider careers in education, public health, and sales. A Master of Public Health (MPH) degree may help them to further their career. Graduates can apply their skills to the planning and implementation of programs for high-risk populations, and can develop policy proposals to improve oral health.
Impact of socioeconomic and ethnic differences on oral health
Traditionally, the impact of socioeconomic and ethnic differences on oral health care has been studied using national surveys. However, many studies have not specifically addressed the ethnicity of subjects. In the present study, we examine the extent to which social factors influence the oral health of children and adolescents. The findings indicate that race-ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) are significant even when controlling for health-related behaviors and other key demographic factors.
We used a negative binomial regression model to estimate the relationship between SEP, income, tooth decay and dental disease among children. A total of 8541 children were sampled in the Children's Dental Health Survey in 2013.
The results suggest that social factors influence the oral health of children. In particular, people living in deprived areas have higher rates of poor oral health. However, there was no evidence that ethnicity had a direct impact on the dental health of children.
From the outset, the WHO Global Oral Health Programme contributed to the Commission's work focusing on the social determinants of oral health. In such a case, primary health care workers specially trained in oral health and other auxiliary personnel can assist in the early detection of an illness or illness and provide essential care. Among adults with an express need for oral health care, average oral health coverage varies substantially from the 40% level in low-income countries to approximately 80% of people in high-income countries. As a follow-up to the Surgeon General's Report on oral health in the United States, this report explores the nation's oral health over the past 20 years.
According to WHO, service delivery reforms promoted by the primary health care movement aim to place people at the center of health care to make services more effective, efficient and equitable. In a subsequent WHO publication, equity and implications for public health programs were described, focusing on priority public health issues. Primary health care is commonly seen as a first level of care or as the entry point into the health care system. WHO called for public health action to improve oral health care for older people.
Currently, the WHO Oral Health Program facilitates the development of primary health care models applicable to different community settings around the world. The WHO statement is an impetus for countries to develop or adjust national oral health programs, and the policy is a strong support for the global actions carried out by the WHO Oral Health Program in recent years. Table 11 summarizes what WHO sees as the differences between primary health care and care provided in conventional settings, such as clinics or outpatient departments of hospitals, or through disease control programs that shape many health services in resource-limited settings.