Healthy People 2020: Oral Health Objectives

About Healthy People 2020

Healthy People 2020 aimed 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 1,200 measures were set in 42 topic areas. You can learn more by visiting the Healthy People 2020 websiteexternal icon.

Healthy People 2020 Objectives for Oral Health

Seventeen of the Healthy People 2020 objectives related directly to oral health and a number of others reflected 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) were the leads for tracking the progress of these objectives.

The overall goal of the Healthy People 2020 oral health objectives was 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.

Oral Health as a Leading Health Indicator

In 2012, an oral health indicator was selected to be one of the 12 leading health indicators for the nation. The objective monitored is:

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