Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body, Healthy Communities
Just as physical health is essential to overall well-being, oral health is essential to overall health. A healthy mouth helps people eat well, avoid pain and tooth loss and feel good about themselves.
This issue is brought to you by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), a part of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIDCR is the nation’s leading supporter of research to improve oral health.
Featured Health Information
A Healthy Mouth for Your Baby is a free NIDCR booklet that describes how American Indian parents and grandparents can care for a baby’s teeth and prevent tooth decay. The booklet has a 5-minute companion video narrated by Shyanne Beatty, former host of the Native radio show "Earthsongs." Also available is a free 17 x 22-inch poster [PDF – 86 KB] that explains why baby teeth are important.
Older Adults and Oral Health, an NIDCR webpage, provides tips for reducing the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth and oral cancer. In addition, NIHSeniorHealth.gov, the website for older adults, has oral health topics developed by NIDCR, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) about gum disease and dry mouth. Each topic has a quiz to test knowledge and also a list of frequently asked questions.
Finding Low-Cost Dental Care is an NIDCR fact sheet that lists resources—such as dental schools and community health centers funded by the federal government—that may be able to provide low-cost dental care.
The Indian Health Service (IHS) Early Childhood Caries Collaborative is a program for dental care providers and other health professionals to enhance their knowledge about early childhood tooth decay prevention and early intervention. Educational materials for health professionals and the community are available in digital format. The Early Childhood Caries Collaborative is a partnership of Tribal Health Boards, dental and medical professionals and others in the community.
News & Events
The Oral Health of American Indian and Alaska Native Adult Dental Patients: Results of the 2015 IHS Oral Health Survey [PDF – 389 KB], published in March 2016, is a report for professionals who work in Indian health care settings. According to the IHS survey results, untreated tooth decay, severe periodontal disease and missing teeth are more prevalent in American Indians than in the general U.S. population.
The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) will host its annual conference from October 13 to 15 in Long Beach, California. SACNAS fosters the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists by offering more than 100 symposia and sessions, 1,000 student research presentations and networking opportunities with mentors. Among the attendees will be NIDCR’s Intramural Research Training Director Dr. Deborah Philp and American Indian researchers, like Loretta Grey Cloud.
Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Native American Populations is an NIH research funding opportunity to encourage researchers to develop, adapt and test the effectiveness of health promotion and disease prevention interventions in Native American populations. NIDCR welcomes applications for studies that propose multilevel approaches to improve oral health status and reduce inequalities.