261161 First Tooth: Statewide expansion of preventive oral health services to Oregon's pediatric providers

Monday, October 29, 2012

Amy Umphlett, MPH , Public Health Division, Oral Health Unit, Oregon Health Authority, Portland, OR
Shanie Mason, MPH, CHES , Public Health Division, Oral Health Unit, Oregon Health Authority, Portland, OR
Objective: Despite being a preventable disease, early childhood caries has become a significant public health problem in Oregon. According to the 2007 Oregon Smile Survey of children in grades 1-3, nearly 2 of every 3 first graders already have a cavity. The Oregon Health Authority's Oral Health Program in collaboration with the Oregon Oral Health Coalition launched a three-year workforce development project called “First Tooth” with the goal to reduce early childhood caries by training medical providers and general dentists to implement evidence-based preventive oral health services for children ages 0-3. “First Tooth” moves beyond the clinical intervention of fluoride varnish by involving the entire staff, not just the providers, in integrating oral health preventive services into their practice.

Methods: “First Tooth” comprises in-person training, ongoing technical assistance, and a comprehensive, web-based oral health resource and training site. Evaluation principles were integrated into each stage of the project.

Results: The “First Tooth” project has expanded outreach and training statewide to: 1) Engage both medical and dental providers in providing culturally appropriate early childhood caries prevention activities; 2) Facilitate referral relationships between dentists and medical providers to ensure all Oregon children have a dental home; 3) Collaborate with community partners such as Head Start and the WIC Program; and 4) Report evaluation results on process and outcome measures.

Conclusion: Both medical and dental communities can become experts in children's oral health prevention strategies and advocates for oral health as part of the continuum of care across the lifespan.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain how an early childhood caries prevention training program was implemented that incorporates in-person and online training with technical assistance. 2. Describe outcomes and evaluation principles used. 3. Discuss the value of collaborative partnerships across disciplines to implement successful oral health promotion and tooth decay prevention efforts. 4. Discuss how “First Tooth” links to the new initiatives underway in Oregon – Coordinated Care Organizations and Early Learning Council. 5. Identify lessons learned.

Keywords: Oral Health, Early Childhood Caries

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the grant and project coordinator for the First Tooth training program, which is a three-year workforce development project federally funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Grants to States to Support Oral Health Workforce Activities.
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.