Current State

  • Oral health is not a policy priority in many settings
  • Policy at the local, state, and federal levels is inconsistent and uncoordinated


Ideal State

  • Oral health is a key component of health policy
  • Oral health supporting policies and regulations are protected and adopted
  • Oral health surveilance systems are in place
  • Oral health policy is consistent at local, state, and federal levels


What We're Doing

The goal of the DentaQuest Foundation's Oral Health 2014 Initiative is “advancing local leaders for national Impact.  This multiyear initiative launched in 2011 is designed to build capacity within states to engage broad-based stakeholders, build common ground on needed improvements in oral health and implement systems change.  By focusing on local leaders, Oral Health 2014 grantees are fostering state and regional collaborations that incorporate the expertise of many points of view—from dentistry and primary care medicine to faith-based organizations, public health and social service groups.  These twenty grantees are developing strategies for oral health improvement that can be ultimately be used by others across the United States, building a national network of change agents.

At the national level, the DentaQuest Foundation is a founding sponsor of the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance. This new national nonprofit is engaging peers inside and outside of oral health, with a focus on common ground. The Alliance has hosted leadership colloquia on medical and dental collaboration, prevention and public health infrastructure, and oral health literacy as a pathway to health equity. Common ground messages developed at each colloquium are shared as the basis for national action to improve the systems that impact oral health.