A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Healthy People = Good Oral Health

Healthy People = Good Oral Health

December 8, 2010

Every 10 years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services releases Healthy People, a set of 10-year national objectives for promoting health and preventing disease.

The new goals for 2020were just released, and oral health plays a significant part in making sure people are healthy. The oral health section begins by stating that oral health is central to a person’s overall health and well-being. They tout the successes of public health interventions such as community water fluoridation and school-based dental sealant programs, and highlight the need for access to comprehensive dental care.

HP2020 also outlines a number of specific, comprehensive objectives. Many of these objectives focus on reducing dental caries or decay across all age groups, and decreasing the number of extractions in adults. Here in Massachusetts, we’ve already been hard at work making sure people have access to adequate dental care- but the recent MassHealth cuts make it more difficult to reach these goals, especially when the only option for treatment for many is now extractions. The release of the Healthy People 2020 goals only increases support for the need for reinstatement of MassHealth adult dental benefits as soon as possible.

-Christine Keeves