Online Program

Shifting the prevalence of tooth decay among high risk young children in a large densely populated county in Arizona

Monday, November 2, 2015

Christine Clements Stein, PhD, MPH, Programs Division - Research and Evaluation, First Things First (Arizona Early Childhood Development & Health Board), Phoenix, AZ
Meena Shahi, M.S, Evaluation and Research, Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board (First Things First), Phoenix, AZ
Kimberly Richards, BIS, First Teeth First, Maricopa County Department of Public Health, Phoenix, AZ
Background: To reduce the prevalence of tooth decay and its impact on early childhood health and development, including problems with eating, speaking, playing and learning, Arizona’s Early Childhood Development and Health Board and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health collaborate on First Teeth First, a program for children under age 6. First Teeth First provides oral health screenings, fluoride varnishes, treatment referrals, and family education. Integral to the program is longitudinal analysis of program data to better understand and respond to the oral health status of high risk young children residing in Maricopa County.

Methods: Utilizing electronic records, we are conducting a longitudinal observational study of child-level data, inclusive of demographics, oral health risk factors, and screening observations including treated/untreated tooth decay and treatment urgency. Study questions include: (1) What is the prevalence of treated and untreated tooth decay? (2) What is the incidence of treatment urgency? (3) Is there change over time in findings? (4) Is there socio-demographic variation in findings? (5) How do findings compare to national and state statistics?

Preliminary results: From December, 2011 through February, 2013 First Teeth First screened 15,177 children with an average age of 2.4 years, and most participated in public assistance programs. Half were Hispanic while 20.7% were White, non-Hispanic. Comparable with statewide estimates for a similar age population, 30.4% had decay experience, and 21.7% had untreated tooth decay. The team is presently analyzing data through December 2014 to fully answer the set of study questions.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
Explain the psychosocial context of young children's oral health in Maricopa County, Arizona. Describe the First Teeth First program, which is designed to provide preventive services for high risk children under age 6, identify oral health needs, and link children and families to oral health treatment services. Discuss findings from oral health screening data, including the prevalence of tooth decay (treated and untreated) and early childhood caries, change over time, socio-demographic variation, and comparison to national and state statistics.

Keyword(s): Oral Health, Data Collection and Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted research and evaluation in the area of family health, including oral health, for more than 15 years.
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.

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