AGD-Backed Oral Health Literacy Legislation Reintroduced in the House

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Jul 29, 2021
On July 20, Representatives Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) reintroduced H.R.4555, the Oral Health Literacy and Awareness Act of 2021

The legislation was developed in partnership with the AGD and directs the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to create a 5-year public health education campaign across the various HRSA programs to help develop and implement evidence-based strategies to increase oral health literacy within specific at-risk populations, including children, pregnant women, elderly, individuals with disabilities, and ethnic and racial minority groups. 

If enacted, H.R.4555 would authorize up to $750,000 per year through the end of 2026 for HRSA to carry out its oral health literacy and awareness campaign.

Alongside AGD, the bill is supported by a large segment of organized dentistry including the American Academy of Dental Group Practice, American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, American Academy of Periodontology, American Association of Endodontists, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Orthodontists, American Association of Women Dentists, American College of Prosthodontists, American Dental Association, American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists, and American Student Dental Association.

Impact on General Dentistry: The AGD strongly endorses H.R.4555 and will continue working with the sponsors to generate support among other members of Congress and the public. AGD is pursuing opportunities to have Senate companion legislation introduced shortly. Oral health literacy is one of AGD’s key issues and was a priority during the recent Virtual Hill Day event. AGD believes the enactment of H.R.4555 will positively contribute to more individuals seeking and obtaining regular dental care.