The Children's Dental Health Project's blog
Armed forces reports progress on soldiers' oral health
Health or medical problems that delay the deployment of soldiers can significantly undermine our nation's military readiness. For many years, officials have struggled to increase the number of military personnel who are rated as "Class 1" in dental wellness — the top level of oral health. However, new data show the armed forces are making progress. According to the Army News Service:
For the past several decades, only about 20 percent of soldiers were classified as "class 1 dental wellness." In the dental community, that means those soldiers were up to date on cleanings and required no dental work, said the commander of U.S. Army Dental Command. That number has since risen to around 40 percent and is climbing, said Col. Thomas R. Tempel Jr.
Officials credit the improvement to the military's "Go First Class" program. The chief of the Army's Dental Corps explains that the program focuses on providing comprehensive dental services in a single visit. This approach helps overcome the problem of scheduling multiple appointments that may conflict with military unit's training activities.
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