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May 10–16, 2015 is National Women’s Health Week

April 23, 2015
The special event, sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women Health, aims to raise awareness of particular issues affecting women's health. Check out the article for many resources dental practices and hygienists can offer their patients.
Click to view the full infographic.

National Women’s Health Week is sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The goal is not to say that women’s health is more important than men’s health, but that it is different. By celebrating this week, the Office on Women’s Health hopes to empower women to make healthy choices in their lives and the lives of their families. There are many ways to take part in this event, and resources are available on the website. (2) As oral health-care professionals, perhaps we can think of ways to promote women’s health in our offices.

The infographic from the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) is filled with ideas (figure 1). In the dental office, we can take a complete health history, perform and oral cancer screening, and educate women about the link between HPV and oral cancer, puberty and pregnancy and oral health, and the role of a healthy lifestyle in oral and general health.

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The vision of the OWH is “All women and girls achieve the best possible HEALTH.” (1) Established in 1991, they educate the public and professionals, and advocate in the legislature for women’s issues. They work with numerous organizations and agencies. They have a fact sheet on oral health, last updated in 2010.

Other resources
It is up to us to educate our female patients about oral and general health. See the following for a wealth of education resources.

We know that regular oral health care is a key component to good oral and general health. Resources abound to help you educate your female patients, especially during National Women’s Health Week.

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1. About us. Office on Women’s Health, US Department of Health and Human services website. Updated March 7, 2013. Accessed April 23, 2015.

Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, is the editorial director of RDH eVillage FOCUS.