Oral health literacy: the new imperative to better oral health

Dent Clin North Am. 2008 Apr;52(2):333-44, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2007.12.001.


Effective communication with patients is the cornerstone of quality dental care and oral health outcomes. Oral health literacy skills are critical to empowering individuals' ability to improve their oral health. A large part of the American public has low health literacy skills. Low health literacy contributes to disease and is costly. Being able to understand health information and how to obtain services is critical to oral health management. The communication skills of the dental team are pivotal to increasing oral health literacy skills of Americans.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Dental Care
  • Dental Staff
  • Health Education, Dental*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Oral Health*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Participation
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Quality of Health Care
  • United States