A recent study has analyzed the status of health literacy in America and assessed how it can affect oral and overall health consequences. On February 13, 2020, the white paper, stating all the findings regarding this matter, was published by the Delta Dental Institute. This white paper also suggests new ways that can be adopted to improve the state of oral health literacy in Americans.
“Improving America’s Oral Health Literacy” acts as a source of information for evaluating the gaps in health literacy. It also helps in analyzing the methods that will facilitate Americans in making better and knowledgeable decisions regarding their oral health.
Vivian Vasallo is the member board of directors at Heluna Health and is also working at the Delta Dental Institute as its executive director. According to her statement, knowledge holds a significant role in improving the oral health of any individual.
This white paper by Delta Dental Institute has confirmed the association between health literacy and oral health. It has proved a direct relationship between good oral health and higher health literacy rates.
It also provides insurers, brokers, employers, and dental health professionals with a roadmap that will help them in empowering Americans with all necessary information, needed to make better and knowledgeable oral health decisions.
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This document has also revealed that most of the Americans are well-aware of the influence of oral health on overall health. And the inconsistency found regarding these health outcomes is somehow because of the lower health literacy rates and insufficient attention towards the social determinants of health.
The paper also provides an explanation about how lower rates of health literacy are linked to decreased utilization of health care services and poorer health consequences. On the other hand, the paper also reveals that effective communication between the dentist and his patient can be facilitated by higher oral health literacy rates, which has a positive influence on restorative, diagnostic, and preventive oral health services.
The Delta Dental Institute has also suggested three actionable techniques that can help in improving the oral health literacy of the American population.
These suggestions include the development of training modules on oral health literacy, provision of dental and clinical insurance educational information in simple and understandable language to all patients and becoming accustomed to the after-visit summary for application in dentistry.
This white paper document also investigates the recent state of emerging solutions and medical-dental integration that will help patients, particularly those who are suffering from chronic illnesses.
The Delta Dental Institute has issued this white paper regarding oral health. Whereas, the co-authors of this paper are Dr. Nicole D. Holland, MS, DDS from the Tufts School of Dental Medicine, Alice M. Horowitz from UMD School of Public Health, and Kathryn A. Atchison, MPH, DDS from the UCLA School of Dentistry.
Delta Health Institute is a leading oral health organization that is trusted by the Americans for the provision of dental benefits. This institute provides support to community outreach, oral health research, and advocacy for ensuring that all the people in America can have a healthy smile along with the healthiest lives.