BOX 4-2
Five Actions of the National Call to
Action to Promote Oral Health

•   Change perceptions of oral health.

•   Overcome barriers by replicating effective programs and proven efforts.

•   Build the science base and accelerate science transfer.

•   Increase oral health workforce diversity, capacity, and flexibility.

•   Increase collaborations.

SOURCE: HHS, 2003c.


sumption that all actions should be science based, culturally sensitive, integrated into overall health and well-being activities, and routinely evaluated. Nearly a decade later, while improvements have been made, these actions are still needed.


In the sections below, the roles of individual HHS operating divisions and staff divisions are discussed. Examples are taken from public sources of information and given to highlight some of the major work of these entities but are not necessarily exhaustive of every role the entities have in improving oral health and oral health care. Appendix B includes a chart of the key HHS agencies currently involved in oral health.

Administration for Children and Families

Oral health activities in the Administration for Children and Families center on its Head Start program, which is operated through the Office of Head Start. The Administration for Children and Families requires Head Start programs to determine whether a child has received age-appropriate preventive dental care within 90 days of the child entering the Head Start program.11

If a child has not received appropriate care, the Head Start program must help the parents make arrangements for the child to receive it.12 Ap-


11 Code of Federal Regulations, Office of Human Development Services, Department of Health and Human Services, title 45, sec. 1304.20 (2009).

12 Ibid.

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