Oral Health America is an independent non-profit organization specializing in public advocacy through education and service programs. The Chicago-based organization seeks to raise awareness for the importance of oral health as an extension of overall health through programs like Smiles Across America and the Campaign for Oral Health Parity.
Through contributions from individual donors and partnerships with public, private and non-profit leaders in the dental industry, Oral Health America has been able to heighten understanding and visibility of oral health across the nation.
Founded in 1955 by members of the American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, American Dental Trade Association and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company under the name American Fund for Dental Health, the original aim of the organization was to raise money for the improvement of dental education. In 1994, Oral Health America became independent of its founding institution to focus on national advocacy for the improvement of oral health.
Oral Health America has developed and overseen a number of education and service programs in addition to funding a variety of other oral health campaigns. These programs include:
Smiles Across America which fights tooth decay through disease prevention, health promotion and community organization. The campaign coordinates with schools, government groups, care providers and corporate and community sponsors nationwide.
Campaign for Oral Health Parity was created in 2000 to promote the importance of oral health in households nationwide. It has reached over 180 million people and increased media coverage of oral health issues.
National Spit Tobacco Education Program was founded in 1994 with Major and Minor League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association to raise awareness of the health concerns related to the use of spit tobacco through national education campaigns.
National Periodontal Disease Coalition was founded by Oral Health America in 2004 as a group of over 100 businesses and dental professionals seeking to bring attention to the recognition of gum disease and the necessity of gum disease treatment.
How You Can Help
If you are interested in helping to support the work of Oral Health America or want to find more information about their programs and organization: