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Foreword: Message from the Chief Dental Officer

Photo: Dushanka V. Kleinman, Chief Dental OfficerOral health has been a focus area in the Healthy People initiative since its inception in 1979 and, over time, the objectives have grown to cover a range of diseases and conditions, preventive services and programs, and public health infrastructure needs. We have learned about the value of data-derived and data-driven objectives that allow us to measure our progress from where we have been to where we need to be. While as a nation we have made substantial progress in improving oral health over the past two decades, many Americans still suffer unnecessary oral disease that could have been prevented.

The Healthy People 2010 oral health objectives provide us with a wide range of public health challenges and opportunities designed to increase the public's oral health and quality of life and to decrease oral health disparities. These objectives serve to keep us focused and on track as we implement the National Oral Health Call to Action to Promote Oral Health, which emanated from Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General.

Achieving the oral health objectives is a great challenge. Multiple approaches are needed, ranging from providing care in a clinical setting, to implementing community-based programs, to conducting research. The Tool Kit is an excellent resource that gives practical advice, methods, resources and examples to help you in planning, implementing and evaluating the oral health objectives in your state, territory, tribe or community.

We look forward to learning about your efforts for achieving the Oral Health objectives in Healthy People 2010 and implementing the National Oral Health Call to Action to Promote Oral Health.

Dushanka V. Kleinman, D.D.S., M.Sc.D
Chief Dental Officer, US PHS
31 Center Drive MSC 2290
Building 31, Room 2C-39
Bethesda Maryland 20892-2290
Phone: (301) 496-9469
Fax: (301) 402-2185
E-mail: Dushanka.Kleinman@nih.gov

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This page last updated: April 16, 2014