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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

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BULGARELLI, Alexandre Favero et al. Primary healthcare and the construction of meanings for oral health: a social constructionist interpretation of discourses by the elderly. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.8, pp.2053-2062. ISSN 1413-8123.

Dentistry is nowadays open to new ideas about the constructions of meanings for oral health. This openness tallies with the social production of health and shows the need to contextualize the social, historical and sundry knowledge in the development of oral health for different communities. The scope of this research is to build meanings for oral health with a group of elderly people. With this in mind, we propose an approximation between the discourses of the elderly on oral health and the Social Constructionist discourse. Thus, we interviewed 14 elderly people registered with a Family Health Unit in Ribeirão Preto in the State of São Paulo in the first semester of 2010. This enabled us to identify two Interpretative Repertoires with the use of Discourse Analysis, which showed the relationship between: 1 - Lack of dental information and assistance in childhood; and 2 - Primary Healthcare constructing meaning for oral health. We concluded that Social Constructionism assists epistemologically for the construction of meaning for oral health and that Primary Healthcare is essential for valuing healthcare for the construction of meaning for oral health on the part of the elderly by fostering conditions for self care and healthy attitudes.

Keywords : Social Constructionism; Oral health; The elderly; Primary Healthcare.

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