Oral Health

kidsOral health is essential to good overall health. It includes proper care of teeth and gums. There are two common oral diseases: dental caries, which is tooth decay or cavities, and periodontal or gum disease. Oral health requires daily hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleaning.

Other serious, but less common oral health concerns are those that affect the areas inside the mouth and throat, tongue, lips, salivary glands, chewing muscles and upper and lower jaws.  Certain risk factors can lead to serious diseases such as cancers of the mouth and throat. Specifically, not using tobacco, limiting alcohol consumption, and eating a balanced diet can reduce the risk of such serious oral diseases.

Background on Oral Health

Increasing awareness and knowledge of good oral health practices are important in prevention of oral disease.  Improving skills for proper care of teeth and gums is critical for good oral health. Creating social support networks to encourage adoption of healthy nutritional habits also improve oral health behaviors.  Creating policies and environments that support oral health such as requiring water fluoridation and reducing sugary options in school vending machines and lunches may have a greater impact in communities. 

Included in the Intervention MICA oral health topic are considerations for implementing interventions with different populations and in different settings. Evidence-based strategies and interventions are described in detail. Action steps, tools and resources for planning and implementing an oral health intervention are provided. Additionally, related Intervention MICA topics available include:

Other related Intervention MICA topics are:

Other resources are available. For information on preventing oral diseases and conditions through educational campaigns, provider training, self-care, integrated approaches to care, access to services and resources, please visit the following websites:


printer-friendly Printer-friendly version