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Basic Strategies for Collective Impact

Strong state-based programs are critical to the nation's oral health. Despite national improvements in oral health, significant dental disease exists across all age groups. This is especially true for those with lower incomes, lower educational levels, and for people from some racial and ethnic groups. CDC provides funding and technical assistance to states for public health infrastructure, health promotion, oral disease surveillance and evidence based clinical and community interventions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Oral Health (DOH) works with funded state health departments to build and maintain effective public health capacity for the implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of oral health best practices.

Basic strategies for building a robust state oral public health program include the following:

  1. Developing program leadership and capacity.
  2. Developing and coordinating partnerships, coalitions and collaborations with a focus on prevention interventions.
  3. Developing or enhancing oral health surveillance.
  4. Building or enhancing evaluation capacity.
  5. Assessing facilitators and barriers to advancing oral health. 
  6. Developing plans for oral health programs and activities.
  7. Implementing communication activities to promote oral disease prevention.

Once a state oral health program can establish the necessary basic strategies, the program should put into action or increase oral health interventions, or both that do the following:

  1. Maintain basic capacity for collective impact.
  2. Expand sealant delivery in low-income and rural schools.
  3. Increase the proportion of the population with access to optimally fluoridated water.
  4. Implement strategies to affect the delivery of targeted clinical preventative services and health systems change.

These strategies have their foundation in the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) reports and were refined through previous CDC cooperative agreements with state public health programs. Key resources include the following:

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