This one-hour webinar, which is part of the Hot Topics series, reviews messaging strategies for hot-button issues like vaccines, climate change, and fluoridation.

Learning Objectives

  • Recall what recent dental health data reveal about the impacts of ceasing community-level fluoridation programs.
  • Recognize how critics of fluoridation, vaccinations, and other contentious public health issues misrepresent the purpose and findings of scientific reports.
  • Understand how to provide crucial facts that shape the public’s understanding of relevant risks, data and disease impacts.
  • Understand techniques for choosing effective visuals for fact sheets, social media and other communication tools.

Intended Audiences

Local, state, and tribal public health professionals; oral health advocates; city and county administrators and other elected officials; health communicators and health promotion specialists


Johnny Johnson, DMD, MS, pediatric dentist and president of the American Fluoridation Society

Matthew Jacob, BA, communications and social marketing consultant

Discussion Questions

  1. What kind of dental health data do you have in your county, city or state for monitoring changes in oral health outcomes?
  2. Why is dental fluorosis a topic that can be easily misused to generate fear or confusion about fluoride and fluoridation?
  3. Does your department or organization use jargon or other scientific terms that are not easily understood by lay audiences?
  4. How can you share public health data in ways that provide context and relevance to your communities?
  5. To what extent are you using analogies to put risk concerns or other issues in a context that enhances community understanding of the issue?


Photograph of a girl holding a glass of water.
Air Date: 
Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm PDT
1 hour
Hot Topics in Practice
Competency Domains: 
Communication Skills