Comprehensive Community Oral Health Plan

Oral Health and Pierce County

The mission of Tacoma‐Pierce County Health Department is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County communities.

Oral health is fundamental to maintaining good overall health and quality of life. Eliminating and reducing poor oral health improves the life course for infants, children, adults, and families.

Poor oral health can lead to tooth decay, pain, infection, and tooth loss. Poor oral health also increases risk of serious medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and poor birth outcomes.

To address and prevent the consequences of poor oral health and to promote healthy behaviors, including healthy eating, the Comprehensive Community Oral Health Plan was developed through input and collaboration of multiple community stakeholders.

Implementing a Comprehensive Community Oral Health Plan is achieved through an “all‐hands‐on‐deck” approach which includes:

  •  Medical
  •  dental
  •  educational
  •  governmental
  •  community groups
  •  faith‐based organizations
  •  businesses
  •  residents

A comprehensive approach to oral health continues to be a primary focus for 2016‐2020. It is consistent with

  • Healthy People 2020, “Decrease the percentage of children in public schools with rampant decay from 21% to11% by 2020.”
  • Washington State Board of Health’s oral health strategies that address the social determinants of health as causes for poor oral health.

The comprehensive approach will:

  • Provide leadership to develop policies that effect positive oral health outcomes;
  • Extend current programs that help babies and school age children receive dental services through school-based dental sealant activities and the Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) program.

Other benchmarks and populations of focus will be added as the Comprehensive Community Oral Health Plan evolves and is strengthened through continued community stakeholder input and collaboration.