Health Literacy in Dentistry
ADA policy defines oral health literacy as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate oral health decisions. It also recognizes that by improving health literacy, patients are better stewards of their own health. You can improve health literacy by using simple communication with the patient and confirming comprehension so that the risk of miscommunication is minimized. You can support patients’ efforts to improve their oral health by using strategies that make the dental office environment and health care system easier to navigate.
Increasing the Dental Team’s Knowledge about Health Literacy
- CDC Health Literacy for Public Health Professionals
A web-based course to educate public health professionals on the importance of health literacy and their role in providing health information and services and promoting public health literacy.
- Federal Plain Language Guidelines
The website contains training and resources for writing plain language.
- Center for Plain Language
The website contains best practices for using, learning, and teaching plain language.
- Smiles for life – A National Oral Health Curriculum
Smiles for Life produces educational resources to ensure the integration of oral health and primary care.
- California Dental Association Journal, April 2012
The 2012 April issue of the CDA Journal focuses on oral health literacy.