News Column

Hispanic Oral Health Takes Center Stage at Capitol Hill Event

Sept. 12, 2012

Today, the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) and Oral Health America (OHA), together with Crest and Oral-B are convening a day of advocacy on Capitol Hill to address the urgent need for oral health education and prevention among the U.S. Hispanic population and other vulnerable minority groups, which lag behind the general population when it comes to basic oral health. The event is part of the third annual Fall for Smiles campaign, which is led by OHA, reminding policymakers and the public about the importance of oral health, among other health priorities.

According to a survey titled "Hispanics Open Up About Oral Health Care," which was led by the HDA Foundation and sponsored by Crest and Oral-B, two thirds (67%) of Hispanics rated their overall oral health as excellent or good; however, almost the same percentage (65%) experienced at least one oral health issue in the past year.1 The survey also found that Hispanics have misperceptions and knowledge gaps when it comes to basic oral health. For instance, almost one-third of Hispanics (30%) are either unsure or believe that cavities will go away on their own if you brush regularly, which is actually false.1

"These statistics underscore that there is a true need for oral health education and prevention among the Hispanic population," said Lilia Larin, D.D.S, President, HDA. "Today, we call on the policy leaders in Washington to help us educate the Hispanic community on the long-term benefits of oral health care and to overcome these well-documented misperceptions. We need to raise this serious oral health care issue to the national level."

Together, the HDA, OHA, Crest and Oral-B are committed to educating the community about the importance of oral care and to help the U.S. Hispanic population overcome barriers they face when it comes to achieving optimal oral health.

"We are proud to partner with the HDA, Crest and Oral-B on this initiative, and we share their commitment to the U.S. Hispanic population, especially when it comes to their oral health," said Beth Truett, President and CEO, Oral Health America. "It is our goal to help create oral health equity and end oral health disparities for all Americans, particularly those that are most vulnerable."

"Hispanics Open Up About Oral Health Care" Survey Methodology GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications conducted the survey from July 28 -- August 24, 2011. GfK Roper surveyed 1,000 Hispanic adults and 1,000 adults from the general population aged 18 and older who live in the continental U.S. Survey results were balanced to ensure that the age, gender, education and region of the participants reflected the Hispanic population and overall population in the U.S. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary by more than plus or minus three percentage points from the result if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. In other words, the margin of error is +/-3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Source: Copyright Business Wire 2012

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