Shailee Gupta, D.D.S., chair of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention, said the winners’ essays were a demonstration of the importance of clear and understandable information coming from trusted sources, like the Association.
“Health misinformation that is inaccurate may prevent people from seeking the care they need and misinform them when making health decisions,” Dr. Gupta said. “This is critical in this day in age with less people seeking oral health care at their dentist office due to the pandemic. It could lead to poor oral health outcomes, especially in the younger generation who spend a majority of their time on social media platforms where health misinformation breeds.”
Ms. Kim said that she believes that opportunities like the essay contest are essential because health literacy and conscientiousness can communicate and share information.
“Health misinformation is a hazard that patients, practitioners and the public are vulnerable to when it comes to the abundance of information that is made continuously more accessible,” she said.
Every year since 2015, the ADA has increased the number of dental schools invited to participate in the pilot contest; now all dental schools are invited to participate.