Oral Health Promotion Plan
The Florida Public Health Institute (FPHI) currently facilitates the Palm Beach County Oral Health Coalition (PBCOHC) and has developed an Oral Health Promotion plan. This plan will address the need for systems and policy changes to improve oral health of all residents in Palm Beach County, as we believe “Oral Health Matters”. The FPHI plan will work to strengthen the formulation or adjustment of policies and strategies for oral health and its integration in community health programs. Particular emphasis should be placed on the following elements:
- Promotion of a healthy diet, particularly lower consumption of sugars and increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
- Promotion of tobacco cessation programs focused on discouraging children and young people from adopting the tobacco habit.
- Establishment of community based plan for use of fluoride, based on appropriate programs for automatic administration of fluoride through drinking-water.
- Prevention of oral diseases by involving oral health professionals or specially trained primary health-care workers in screening and referral for care.
- Building of capacity in oral-health systems oriented to disease prevention and primary health care, with special emphasis on meeting the needs of disadvantaged and poor populations.
- Oral-health services should be set up, ranging from prevention, early diagnosis and intervention to provision of treatment, and the management of oral health problems of the population according to needs and to resources available.
- Promotion of oral health in schools, aiming at developing healthy lifestyles and self-care practices in children and young people.
- School environment and school health services can tackle major common risk factors and contribute to effective control of oral disease.
- Development of oral-health information systems as an integral part of national surveillance of oral health and risk factors, in order to provide evidence for oral health policy.
- Promotion of an interdisciplinary approach to prevention by utilizing physicians and nurses to apply fluoride varnish in the pediatric office.
- Increase public awareness of oral health diseases and the relationship to overall health through community messaging media campaign.
The FPHI believes engaging county residents and policy makers in a call to action campaign that will increase education on preventive and oral health disparities will ultimately impact the future of oral health.