The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Healthy People 2030 decade-long plan for addressing the nation’s most critical public health priorities and challenges includes 15 objectives related to oral health.
Since 1980, the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has set measurable objectives and targets to improve the health and well-being of the nation, the department said.
Healthy People 2030 includes 355 core or measurable objectives with 10-year targets, new objectives related to opioid use disorder and youth e-cigarette use, and resources for adapting to emerging public health threats like COVID-19. For the first time, Healthy People also sets 10-year targets for objectives related to social determinants of health.
The oral health objectives include:
- Reduce the proportion of adults with active or untreated tooth decay
- Increase the proportion of oral and pharyngeal cancers detected at the earliest stage
- Increase use of the oral healthcare system
- Reduce the proportion of children and adolescents with lifetime tooth decay
- Reduce the proportion of children and adolescents with active and untreated tooth decay
- Increase the proportion of people with dental insurance
- Reduce the proportion of people who can’t get the dental care they need when they need it
- Increase the proportion of people whose water systems have the recommended amount of fluoride
- Reduce the consumption of added sugars by people aged 2 years old and older
- Reduce the proportion of older adults with untreated root surface decay
- Reduce the proportion of adults aged 45 years and older who have lost all their teeth
- Reduce the proportion of adults aged 45 years and older with moderate and severe periodontitis
- Increase the proportion of low-income youth who have a preventive dental visit
- Increase the proportion of children and adolescents who have dental sealants on one or more molars
- Increase the number of states and Washington, DC, that have an oral and craniofacial health surveillance system
“Healthy People was the first national effort to lay out a set of data-driven priorities for health improvement,” said HHS secretary Alex Azar.
“Health People 2030 adopts a more focused set of objectives and more rigorous data standards to help the federal government and all of our partners deliver results on these important goals over the next decade,” Azar said.
Healthy People has led the nation with its focus on social determinants of health and continues to prioritize economic stability, education access and quality, healthcare access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context as factors that influence health, HHS said.
Health People 2030 also continues to prioritize health disparities, health equity, and health literacy, HHS said.
Now more than ever, we need programs like Healthy People that set a shared vision for a healthier nation, where all people can achieve their full potential for health and well-being across the lifespan,” said ADM Brett P. Giroir, MD, assistant secretary for health.
“COVID-19 has brought the importance of public health to the forefront of our national dialogue. Achieving Healthy People 2030’s vision would help the United States become more resilient to public health threats like COVID-19,” Giroir said.
A federal advisory committee of 13 external thought leaders and a workgroup of subject matter experts from more than 20 federal agencies contributed to Healthy People 2030, along with public comments received throughout the development process.