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As a new dental hygiene HSO you have many colleagues in a number of agencies. Many of these officers have worked together to identify pertinent dental public health information that may be useful as you develop your local programs and as you progress in your career. If you would like to have a mentor, please see the HSO main page and sign up for the mentoring program. This page is designed to be a quick reference to current and authoritative dental public health information.
Many dental public health agencies and professional organizations offer resources for clinical and community dental prevention programs. Several sites will provide Standards of Care and professional recommendations upon which to build or revise existing programs.
A central feature of public health is the focus on health needs of the population as a whole. One key component is the principle of community organization. This principle means that a community is often its own best resource, making community leadership a valuable ally for public health. Group collaborations provide direct connections between knowledge, available resources, strengths and assets, and efforts that can help communicate public health messages. Community engagement helps expand the continuum of strategies necessary to improve general and oral health status.United States Public Health Service Registered Dental Hygienists collaborate with many external groups that may include:
Collaborative partnerships have great potential to enhance the goals of improving oral health in target populations. These examples demonstrate the many opportunities available for a Registered Dental Hygienist to promote oral health through the effective use of interdisciplinary collaborations.
Water fluoridation has been cited as one of the most successful of all public heath interventions. Fluoridated water benefits an entire community regardless of economic status or access to professional dental services. Water fluoridation is an issue where collaborations can have a wide reaching impact for ALL community members.
Regulations regarding water fluoridation vary widely in different locations. Dental professionals may want to contact Tribal utilities, local authorities or State dental health departments to determine the regulations governing water fluoridations, the history of fluoridation in a specific area and to determine who is responsible for installation and monitoring of water fluoridation equipment.