On Friday, February 7, 2014, oral health advocates from around the state will rally to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month and add to the growing chorus of supporters dedicated to winning Colorado’s oral health battle. Delta Dental of Colorado is teaming up with Oral Health Colorado and other key partners to organize this event to increase awareness of oral health issues among lawmakers, strategic stakeholders and the general public.
In 2012, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper declared oral health one of Colorado’s priority “Winnable Battles” — public health initiatives that carry large-scale impact. Dental disease is the most prevalent chronic childhood disease that contributes to thousands of missed school hours and considerable financial and social burden in Colorado each year. And it’s almost completely preventable.
We are so excited about this event and the opportunity to educate more people about the importance of good oral health. In the meantime, remember these key messages when talking about the importance of oral health (because when we speak with common language, people remember):
• Dental disease is a winnable public health battle that directly impacts the economic and overall health of our state.
• Cavities are the number one chronic childhood disease, even though they are nearly 100 percent preventable.
• Coloradans spend about $1 billion annually on dental care — much of it to treat dental disease — creating significant social and emotional burdens for our residents.
• Oral health is connected to overall health, with links to heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
• Colorado is headed in the right direction, but there is more work to do because many children continue to suffer from this preventable and painful problem.