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Keywords:

  • Oral health interventions;
  • Aboriginal peoples;
  • Canada;
  • health inequalities

There has been a great deal of research describing the risk factors and determinants that impact on the health and well being of Aboriginal Canadians that has revealed tremendous oral health inequalities between these groups and their non-Aboriginal counterparts. Building on this research, culturally-based preventive interventions are now needed to address the significantly higher rates of oral disease among Aboriginals across Canada. Included in this article is an overview of oral health interventions targeted at First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada, offering a glimpse of some of the innovative research initiatives originating from within Aboriginal communities that are being used to develop new health programmes and policies to improve the health and well being of this population. Particular emphasis is placed upon community-based and national initiatives to prevent dental caries in young Indigenous children that begin by improving the oral and general health of young women and mothers through pre-conception interventions. In addition, recently developed and implemented national First Nations- and Inuit-led oral health surveys are set to provide new evidence to inform future programmes and policy initiatives that will help to reduce dental disease burden and inequalities affecting Indigenous Canadians.