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Providers Can Brush Up on Oral Health Literacy with New Toolkit

The California Oral Health Literacy Toolkit is now available. The five digital resources in the toolkit are designed to help oral healthcare providers understand and use health literacy best practices, such as teach-back.The toolkit includes:

  • Oral Health Literacy in Practice: This guidebook reviews the essential principles of oral health literacy (OHL) and suggests ways to implement OHL at every touchpoint of patient visits.
  • Practice Assessment Checklist: Practices can use this printable checklist to easily assess the practice’s OHL preparedness.
  • What Is Teach-Back: This quick reference provides example-based learning and shows how to use teach-back with patients.
  • Health Literacy Action Plan: Dental teams can use this worksheet to write down health literacy goals and identify the steps to reach them.
  • Going to the Dentist: This printable brochure uses clear communication to guide patients through the “before, during and after” of dental visits.

A companion to the toolkit is online training for dental providers and community health professionals. The first training took place at the spring 2021 conference of the California Dental Association, and more are planned. The Oral Health Literacy toolkit was developed by and is based on two years of research conducted by Health Research for Action in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health, Office of Oral Health.The toolkit can be downloaded from the California Oral Health Technical Assistance Center.

Oral healthcare provider speaking with person in treatment chair (stock photo)
August 2021