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Harold R. Harlan, D.D.S., M.P.H.
JAMA. 1959;171(1):62-64. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.73010190010019c.
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To understand present concepts of modern dental health and their importance in any program for the prevention, control, and treatment of dental diseases, one should ask, "Do I want to go through life with healthy teeth and healthy oral tissues?" Of course all of us want lifetime teeth and healthy mouth tissues for complete health, happiness, comfort, aesthetics, and social acceptance. This positive response, indicating that dental health is an integral part of total health, is based on an awareness, an attitudinal behavior, and a willingness to accept certain responsibilities relating to health principles.

Responsibilities Relating to Health Principles  The first of these is the responsibility of gaining dental health knowledge concerning the general mouth structures and functions and the general causes, manifestations, and sequelae of dental disorders in relation to other organs of the body. The second responsibility is the initiation of regular daily adequate personal home care—oral hygiene.


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