Building #HealthyCommunities: Let’s get oral health into the discussion

Posted & filed under Campaign for Dental Health News, Fluoride and Public Health.

The Campaign for Dental Health, a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is pleased to kick off the #HealthyCommunities initiative during National Public Health Week, April 3-7, 2017.

To be healthy, kids need healthy teeth. Yet childhood dental disease stubbornly remains the most common chronic disease of childhood. Help us raise the visibility of the importance of children’s oral health to their overall health and ability to thrive. Participate in #HealthyCommunities to help spread the word about the importance of children’s oral health and the role of community water fluoridation (CWF) in building #HealthyCommunities!


What’s Planned

Blog Carnival – Monday thru Wednesday, April 3-5, post blogs about your organization’s unique role in building #HealthyCommunities. Be sure to include the hashtag in each blog article. Topics for blog articles might include:

Social Media Storm – On Thursday, April 6 (2 pm ET/11 am PT), everyone participates in a one-hour “storm” via their Twitter or Facebook accounts, promoting blog posts, sharing resources, and spotlighting initiatives that strengthen communities. Sample social media messages are available at Use the #HealthyCommunities hashtag and watch the momentum grow!




Why It’s Important

Community water fluoridation (CWF) has met with opposition since it began over 70 years ago. Skeptics often cite individual choice and personal responsibility as reasons why fluoride should be removed or not initiated at all. But we know that, for children and families most affected by dental disease, water with fluoride is sometimes the most preventive care they can access. With this initiative, we seek to reframe the discussion to include oral health and CWF among the components of #HealthyCommunities.


This is a Social Justice Issue

As Dr Martin Luther King, Jr said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” We believe that progress toward building a healthy community can best be measured by the health status of the most vulnerable residents. A framework that values community can help address health disparities based on race, ethnicity, income level, and other factors.

We believe that prevention is the best approach to health and wellness. We believe that every child deserves to grow up in a community that values and supports healthy development. We believe that schools, community centers, businesses, the faith community, and other local stakeholders have important roles to play. We believe that a healthy community creates conditions that benefit everyone.

The social determinants of health are experienced in the home, the school, the workplace, and in the community. Our health outcomes are most influenced by the economic stability, neighborhood and physical environment, education, access to food/absence of hunger, and community and social contexts of our lives. The community is where those most affected get involved and make a difference. Improve these contexts and communities get healthier.

Join this initiative to share your resources, efforts, collaborations, and insights on building #HealthyCommunities. For more information, click here for the comprehensive social media kit. Thank you!