249229 “First Tooth”: Preventing early childhood caries through medical and dental provider education and collaboration

Monday, October 31, 2011

Shanie Mason, MPH, CHES , Public Health Division, Oral Health Unit, Oregon Health Authority, Portland, OR
Gordon Empey, DMD, MPH , Oral Health Program, State of Oregon, Portland, OR
Tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease of childhood, affecting five times more children than asthma. According to the 2007 Oregon Smile Survey, 59.3% of 1st graders in Oregon have or had a cavity. In spite of its high prevalence, tooth decay is a preventable disease. The Oregon Oral Health Program in collaboration with the Oregon Oral Health Coalition (OROHC) launched a three-year workforce development project with the goal to reduce early childhood caries (ECC) in Oregon by focusing preventive services on infants and toddlers ages three and under to ensure that all children have a dental home by age 1.

By training providers of pediatric patients how easily oral health preventive services can be integrated into the well-child visit, they will be better equipped to identify children at risk for ECC. Project staff is also trained on systems-based implementation and clinic workflow. “First Tooth” fosters collaboration between pediatric and general medical providers directly with dental providers by emphasizing a team-based approach. “First Tooth” relies on general dentists, pediatric dentists, pediatricians, family practice physicians and mid-level medical providers to play a key role expanding access to ECC preventions services.

Preliminary Phase I Results: The first five CE trainings were very well-received, as indicated by high satisfaction rates and satisfaction with the instructor and teaching methods. Currently in Phase II, the project is expanding outreach and training statewide. Additional evaluation results on trainings, technical assistance response, culturally appropriate parent/caregiver handouts and anticipatory guidance will be reported in November.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
• Understand the importance of collaboration of medical providers and dental providers to improve infant and children’s oral health and prevent early childhood tooth decay • Discuss steps taken to implement an early childhood caries prevention training program • Articulate lessons learned, including barriers and pitfalls • Describe “First Tooth” program components and outcomes

Keywords: Oral Health, Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am program manager for the Oral Health Unit, where the First Tooth project is one activity.
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.