Who Are the Oral
Health Champions?

An oral health champion is someone within your organization (internal) or community (external) who wants to help lead the charge of promoting good oral health.

An oral health champion:

  • Understands the importance of oral health for seniors.
  • Is knowledgeable about the connection between oral health and overall health.
  • Is eager to engage in continuous learning about oral health.
  • Is motivated to share the message about the importance of oral health for older adults.
  • Keeps oral health-related issues in the forefront of organization programs and services.
  • Helps problem solve when challenges get in the way.

Internal champions are the leading force for identifying ways that oral health can be integrated into the programs and services your organization provides, and for implementing and supporting these activities. Internal champions can be from all levels within your organization, including:

  • Program managers and program coordinators
  • Information and assistance specialists
  • Receptionists
  • Finance specialists
  • Direct service providers – nurses, caregivers (paid and non-paid), case managers, and social workers

External champions are members of your community who have a vested interest in the promotion of oral health by your organization. External champions, who are key to the overall infrastructure for successfully integrating oral health, may be:

  • Community members who provide dental or medical care (i.e., dentists, hygienists, physicians, nurses)
  • Recipients of dental services (i.e., seniors or caregivers)
  • City, county, or state government officials who support this cause

This toolkit provides concrete ideas and project examples of what other organzations have done; it’s up to the champions of your organization to determine which methods will work best within your own community.