200181 Puerto Rico Infant Caries Prevention Program

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lydia Lopez, DMD, MPH , Deanship of Research, UPR School of Dental Medicine, San Juan, PR
The purpose of this Program is to present and develop educational and treatment strategies and community activities to prevent Early Childhood Caries (ECC) in Puerto Rican children through the promotion of dental health and directed education to children, parents/caretakers and communities. This Program has been conducted in the last 7 years and has provided preventive dental services to more than 2000 pre school children. The aims of the Program are: (1) To improve dental health of infants through preventive dental care clinics (2) To educate pregnant women about the maintenance of their dental health and future dental health of their babies (3) To educate preschool children through directed educational techniques (4) To educate parents and caregivers about children's oral health (5) Nutrition counseling (6) Surveillance program to progressively monitor the ECC condition in the PR population. The Program includes: Weekly educational Activities, screening and fluoride varnishes applications for preschool-aged children, educational activities for parents and caregivers of children,a Sealants Clinic and Infant Clinic at UPRSD, Monthly educational activities for pregnant women about prenatal dental care and ECC prevention in children, Education for dentists and others health professionals. This Program has impacted the prevalence of caries in infants in Puerto Rico, decreasing it from 53% in 1992 to 30% for 2008 through the fluoride varnishes prevention activities. The main outcome has been the development of culture-appropriate prevention strategies through the education and collaborative agreements with communities, parents, teachers, nurses and dentists on the prevention of the condition.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the Puerto Rico Infant Caries Prevention Program Experience

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Oral Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Faculty and Researcher of the University of Puerto Rico School of Dental Medicine and Founder and Director of the Puerto Rico Infant caries Prevention program
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.