Providing Preventive Oral Health Care to Infants and Young Children in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Early Head Start, and Primary Care Settings

 A sister and brother cleaning their teeth in their bathroom.

Promising oral health programs that provide preventive oral health care to young children are explored in this study.

The Issue:

Lack of access to preventive oral health care for all ages remains a public health challenge. Currently, potentially promising workforce innovations are being used to improve access to preventive oral health care.

Examples include:

  • Improving the diversity of the workforce;
  • enhancing the education of health care professionals;
  • encouraging the participation of non-dental health care professionals;
  • expanding the roles of existing dental professionals; and
  • developing new types of dental professionals.

This report focuses on seven oral health programs that provide preventive oral health care to young children (infants, toddlers, and children up to 5 years old) in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Early Head Start (EHS), and primary care settings. Two additional reports in this series describe the remaining programs that provide care in non-dental settings and programs designed to specifically address socioeconomic, cultural, and geographic barriers to preventive oral health care.

The results from this project will inform programmatic efforts and evaluation planning at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Based on the overall findings from 25 evaluability assessments, innovations that demonstrate promise in using members of the health care workforce to provide preventive oral health services may be evaluated for effectiveness and to promote replication.

About the Program:

The Systematic Screening and Assessment of Workforce Innovations in the Provision of Preventive Oral Health Services is a project to identify promising workforce innovations that have the potential to increase Americans’ access to preventive oral health services.

 

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