Policy on Social Determinants of Children's Oral Health and Health Disparities

Purpose

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes the influence of social factors on children’s oral health including access to care, dental disease, behaviors, and oral health inequalities. The AAPD encourages oral health professionals and policymakers to formally acknowledge the role that social determinants of health (SDH) have in producing and perpetuating poor oral health and oral health inequalities in children. Moreover, AAPD encourages the implementation of oral health promotion strategies that account for the SDH and appropriate clinical management protocols informed by and sensitive to the SDH. All relevant stakeholders (e.g., health professionals, researchers, educators) are encouraged to develop strategies that incorporate SDH-related knowledge to improve oral health behaviors, prevent dental disease, and address oral health inequalities in children.