As an island paradise, Hawaii is known for its beautiful beaches, tropical climate, and unique culture. However, Hawaii also faces significant challenges when it comes to dental health, with only 41% of pregnant women reporting seeing a dentist during pregnancy . In addition to access to dental care, the local diet in Hawaii plays a significant role in oral health. A bidirectional relationship exists between oral health and diet and nutrition .
With a mix of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Western cultures, Hawaii’s local cuisine offers a unique blend of flavors and ingredients. However, many traditional Hawaiian dishes contain high amounts of sugar, which has been associated with an increased risk of dental caries . On the other hand, fresh fruits and vegetables, which are abundant in Hawaii, provide essential nutrients that support healthy teeth and gums.
To promote dental health in Hawaii, the Department of Health operates dental clinics that serve individuals with chronic and severe developmental and intellectual disabilities, medically indigent, frail elderly, and clients under the Developmental Disabilities Division . However, it’s essential for all Hawaii residents to prioritize their oral health by practicing good dental hygiene and making conscious choices about their diet. By doing so, Hawaii residents can enjoy healthy smiles and overall wellness.
In conclusion, dental health and diet are closely intertwined in Hawaii, and both play a crucial role in overall wellness. As Hawaii continues to face challenges in access to dental care, it’s essential for residents to take proactive steps towards good oral health by maintaining proper dental hygiene and making mindful choices about their diet.
 “Unfortunately, only 41% of pregnant women in Hawaii reported seeing a dentist during their pregnancy.12The graphic shows some representative groups at higher risk within the various categories of county of residence, maternal education, maternal age, household federal poverty level, and health insurance status.”
 “The Department of Health also operates five dental clinics on the island of Oahu that serve those individuals with chronic and severe developmental and intellectual disabilities, medically indigent, frail elderly, and clients under the Developmental Disabilities Division (DDD). The DDD manages the state dental clinics.”
 “A bidirectional relationship exists between oral health and diet and nutrition. Diet and nutrition affect the health of the tissues in the mouth; and the health of the mouth affects nutrients consumed. The consumption of sugars has been associated with an increased risk of developing dental caries. The complex nature of periodontal disease …”