Your teens may think that they don’t need you anymore, but they’ll always need their teeth!

Do you remember chasing your toddler around trying to brush his teeth before bed? You may not have to do that anymore, but oral health is as important for adolescents as it was when they were little, maybe even more so. During adolescence we want to be sure that children continue effective oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, seeing a dentist, eating a healthy diet that is low in sugar, and drinking water with fluoride.What Do Worn Teeth Look Like? for more information.

Adolescents also have other things to consider when it comes to their oral health such as using tobacco or marijuana products, dealing with braces, using mouth guards while playing sports, and all of the changes that are happening with their bodies. They will continue to need your guidance in making decisions that affect their overall health and oral health, but it is also time for them to take the wheel to make sure they have teeth for life. Good oral health is important for getting a job and a girlfriend/boyfriend – you can decide which message works better for your teen!

They will thank you for setting the foundation for good oral health by modeling best practices, having your child see a dentist regularly, and making sure he had all of the needed preventive treatments, such as sealants,

A Framework for Addressing Social Determinants of Oral Health for Low-Income Populations

There is growing evidence that the way people live, learn, work, and play has a significant impact on health, including oral health scian nebulizer. These social determinants of health (SDOH) — including such things as access to healthy food, safe housing, quality education, and transportation — can shape risk behaviors, environmental exposures, and access to health care. Most persistently affecting marginalized populations, SDOH account for more than one third of total annual deaths in the United States dental handpiece.

Boy Brushing TeethThe Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) recently led a learning collaborative, funded by the DentaQuest Foundation, that supported three organizations — the Maine Primary Care Association, United Way of Central Jersey, and Youth Empowered Solutions— to develop community-based plans for addressing SDOH with particular impacts on oral health. The collaborative used a framework from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization that has demonstrated success in addressing the social determinants of overall health. Steps in the framework include:

Identifying the social determinants of oral health in a community;
Mapping and mobilizing available community resources through partnerships;
Selecting approaches to take action; and
Evaluating implementation and impact.
In a recent technical assistance brief, A Community Framework for Addressing Social Determinants of Oral Health for Low-Income Populations, CHCS authors describe how organizations can pursue these steps, drawing examples from the learning collaborative dental equipment. State agencies, state or regional organizations, and other stakeholders working to address “upstream” drivers of oral health in their states, regions or communities, may find this framework useful to their efforts. Other CHCS-led initiatives, such as the State Oral Health Leadership Institute (SOHLI), are further highlighting how Medicaid and public health leaders can work together to address SDOH and other barriers to oral health for low-income populations.

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