Tell Congress to Support Oral Health Literacy
Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) have introduced H.R.4678, the bipartisan Oral Health Literacy and Awareness Act of 2019, to authorize funding for a 5-year oral health literacy campaign across relevant HRSA programs.
 
The campaign directs HRSA to develop and test evidence-based oral health literacy strategies capable of reaching across vulnerable populations to provide oral disease prevention education. During the campaign, HRSA will measure outcomes and effectiveness of various oral health literacy strategies, which may lay the foundation for a future national public education campaign.
 
AGD has been working closely with the sponsors of H.R.4678 to have this legislation introduced, as Oral Health Literacy is one of AGD’s key issues.
 
As a dentist, you know that many Americans are not aware of the importance of regular dental check-ups and the link between good oral health and overall health. This knowledge is reinforced by the latest HHS Healthy People 2020 data, which shows a decline in the number of persons who visited a dentist in the past year from the baseline of 44.5% (2007) to 43.3% (2016), well below the 2020 target of 49%.
 
We need your help to raise awareness in Congress that what is being done to educate the public on the importance of good oral health is not working and that this bill has the potential to impact the status quo of inadequate oral health literacy in the U.S. in a meaningful and positive way.
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