Medical providers play an integral part in oral health care. From the First Tooth encourages pediatricians and family medicine providers to perform oral health risk assessments on their pediatric patients. The provider is encouraged to apply fluoride varnish to help prevent childhood caries. Medical providers are then asked to refer patients to dental homes for regular dental care or more immediate care as needed. Research shows that children who receive at least four fluoride applications before age four have lower rates of tooth decay. Oral health is a part of overall health, and it is important for medical providers to play a key role in preventing childhood caries.
Check out the AAP Oral Health Advocacy Toolkit, Oral Health Flip Chart and additional resources here.
Mott Poll Report-Delayed Start to Dentist Visits Parents Need Provider Prompt is available as a resource.