The California Oral Health Literacy Toolkit is a new digital resource to help oral health care providers learn or review the basic principles of oral health literacy, including the importance of communicating clearly and with cultural humility and creating a welcoming environment for patients.
Two years of background studies, conducted by the UC Berkeley Health Research for Action Center in collaboration with the California Office of Oral Health, informed the toolkit’s development. Studies included a literature review, scan of health literacy training resources for dental professionals and interviews with oral health literacy experts and California dental providers. Diverse dental providers tested and recommended changes to several iterations of the toolkit.
“Improving oral health literacy is a recommended strategy in the California Oral Health Plan,” said State Dental Director Jayanth Kumar, DDS, MPH, about the toolkit’s launch. “We know that more effective communication results in better patient health, and we are excited to provide this comprehensive toolkit for dental team members to use.”
The toolkit, which will be featured in the September issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association, includes:
Providers can access the toolkit now on the Oral Health Technical Assistance Center’s website.
The toolkit is complemented with training for dental providers and community members. The next training, “Oral Health Literacy: Achieving Patient Behavior Through Effective Communication,” will take place Sept. 11 at CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry.