Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease impacting children and yet most children under the age of 3-4 years of age do not have access to a dentist.
Medical providers and staff can make a difference in improving pediatric health by assessing oral health status, risk factors, applying fluoride varnish, educating parents and making referrals to dentists.
Multiple health professions training programs have integrated early pediatric oral health into their curricula. An easy way to incorporate pediatric oral health into the curriculum is to use tested materials. Smiles for Life is used in many schools. See Modules 2 and 6 on the Smiles for Life website. These can be taken online or downloaded with speaker notes for presentation purposes and can be incorporated into course on pediatric health, pediatric rotations and clerkships of interprofessional programming.
Some of the schools that are including pediatric oral health and fluoride varnish in their curriculum include The University of Massachusetts Medical School, Tufts University School of Medicine, and University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Additionally, webinars can be accessed here: