A healthy population is a strong population, and agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) want Americans to be healthy. That’s why on August 18 they launched a new version of an older program, Healthy People 2030. The Healthy People 2030 program is an initiative which sets goals for how to improve public health over the next decade. Some of those goals include oral health care, as oral health is a major component of overall body health.
Some of the specific goals of the Healthy People 2030 program as they pertain to oral health care are:
Increasing the amount of people with dental insurance
Dental insurance is an important program, as many without dental insurance simply cannot afford or skip oral health appointments. According to the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) report “The Haves and the Have-Nots: Consumers with and without Dental Benefits,” Americans with health benefits are much more likely to go to the dentist and bring their families to the dentist, too. They are also more likely to receive treatment for dental problems like cavities and other ailments, and are in overall better health than those without dental coverage.
Increase Fluoridated Water
Though it is a debate in many communities, the Healthy People 2030 program recognizes the importance of fluoride to overall oral health and aims to increase the fluoridated water supply in the United States.
Reduce Tooth Decay in Children
Childhood caries is a big problem in the United States, with literally millions of missed school days each year due to cavities. One of the most noble goals of the Healthy People 2030 program is to reduce this number and help make our children healthier and stronger.
Reduce Added Sugar Consumption
Added sugar is a major problem in the United States. With many communities enacting a sugar tax, there has been a push in recent years to help reduce the amount of added sugars we consume. Whether this new initiative from the Healthy People 2030 will advocate for more taxes remains to be seen, but we can expect to see a push for less sugar (and healthier teeth) in the coming decade.