What Individuals Can Do

Focus Area 1: Workforce

  • Participate in an existing oral health coalition or assist in establishing an oral health coalition in your community, and help to carry out the recommendations that emerge.
  • Volunteer at local oral health fairs.

Focus Area 2: Infrastructure

  • Examine oral health data to help determine gaps in local oral health systems and programs.
  • Understand the Oral Health Standards for a Healthy Community and how they relate to the community.
  • Discuss infrastructure needs with policy makers at all levels.
  • Become familiar with the Oral Health Standards for a Healthy Community.
  • Identify gaps in oral health coverage in the local community.
  • Advocate for achieving standards through community coalitions, and discussions with policy makers and school organizations.
  • Participate in planning processes that affect health care and oral health in particular.
  • Learn about the benefits of community water fluoridation and sealants on first and second molars.
  • Ensure that family members minimize use of bottled water when fluoridated tap water is available.
  • Talk with the local water department and city council about supporting public
    water fluoridation.

Focus Area 3: Financing

  • Share experiences illustrating the importance of an adult dental benefit in Medicaid or Medicare.
  • Ask for help in understanding personal benefits covered by insurance.
  • Share knowledge of benefits with friends and family.

Focus Area 4: Systems of Care

  • Request an age 1-year dental visit for children on Medicaid or CHP+.
  • Share learning opportunities regarding oral health with friends and neighbors.
  • Ask dental providers to provide oral health care for pregnant women, older adults and high-risk adult populations.
  • Understand the need for an age 1-year oral health visit.
  • Create parent demand for an age 1-year dental visit that is focused on diagnostic and preventive services.

Focus Area 5: Health Promotion

  • Take children for an age 1-year dental visit.
  • Understand the importance of water fluoridation for good oral health.
  • Request sealants on childrens’ permanent molars.
  • Include healthy, nutritious foods at meals at home.
  • Understand the importance of oral health to overall health.
  • Limit intake of sugary beverages.
  • Volunteer at a local Head Start or child care facilities to help promote good oral health practices.
  • Take children for an age one dental visit.
  • Assist older family members in obtaining routine oral health care.
  • Offer a ride to the dentist or help make an oral health checkup appointment for older adult neighbors.
  • Advocate for dental benefits within Medicare and Medicaid.

Focus Area 6: Health Equity

  • Call, write or speak to local policy makers about oral health issues.
  • Partner with local oral health coalitions to collect data establishing where oral health disparities exist.
  • Identify and utilize local media sources to publicize health disparities.
  • Promote in-school screenings and school- based clinics with school principals, at PTA meetings and with local school boards.


Community Health Organization

A person acting to better his/her personal health or that of others.