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Say that again? Consider effective patient communication during Health Literacy Month

October 04, 2018

By Michelle Manchir

Patients must be able to understand what their dentists tell them to make the best health decisions.

October is Health Literacy Month and a good time to review oral health literacy best practices and ADA resources on the topic.

The ADA supports the use of health literacy principles and plain language for all patients and providers to make it easier for them to navigate, understand and use appropriate information and services to help patients be stewards of their oral health, according to ADA House of Delegates policy 69H-2016.

The ADA maintains a webpage on ADA.org that includes a number of resources for health professionals on the importance health literacy and their role in promoting it. Federal plain language guidelines, a Centers for Disease Control training course on the subject for health professionals and scientific articles on the topic are among the items listed.

The ADA also offers resources for patients related to health literacy. The Association's consumer friendly website, MouthHealthy.org, can be referred to for plain-language information about oral health during all life stages, nutrition, dental visits and dental symptoms.

Visit ADA.org/HealthLiteracy or CDC.gov/HealthLiteracy for more information.