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Healthy People 2020: Oral Health Objectives


About Healthy People 2020

Healthy People 2020 aims to reach four overarching goals:

  • Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death.
  • Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.
  • Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all.
  • Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages.

More than 600 specific objectives and 1200 measures are set in 42 separate topic areas. You can learn more by visiting the Healthy People 2020 Web site.

Healthy People 2020 Objectives for Oral Health

Seventeen of the Healthy People 2020 objectives relate directly to oral health and a number of others reflect the connection between oral disease and other chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), Indian Health Service (IHS), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) are the leads for tracking the progress of these objectives.

The overall goal of the Healthy People 2020 oral health objectives is to prevent and control oral and craniofacial diseases, conditions, and injuries and improve access to related services. Like general health, oral health status in the United States tends to vary based on social and economic conditions.

Learn more about dental caries (tooth cavities), oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers and other oral diseases at healthypeople.gov, click on tab entitled Oral Health

Oral Health as a Leading Health Indicator

In August 2012, Dr, Howard Kohn, launched oral health as a leading health indicator. The objective monitored is:

Increase the proportion of children, adolescents, and adults who used the oral health care system in the past year


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