Dental Exams During Pediatric Visits Take a Bite Out of Oral Health Problems

Educating primary care physicians and mothers about oral health care in children under five

From 2002 to 2004, staff at the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved developed, delivered and evaluated a training program to prevent dental disease in children ages 0 to 3.

Key Results

  • Project staff developed a six-hour training program, the "Early Childhood Caries Prevention Project," that trained primary care providers on preventing dental disease during pediatric visits through oral health exams and parent education on protecting their children's teeth.

  • Project staff developed and disseminated a provider toolkit and a parent health education kit.

  • Fifty-seven primary care providers and others attended trainings on preventing dental disease in young children, held in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington from December 2002 to March 2003.

  • Participating primary care providers distributed educational materials to approximately 4,000 parents.

Key Findings

Findings from a survey of training participants six months after their training included:

  • Eighty-one percent of respondents had incorporated parent education into pediatric visits.

  • Respondents reported increased confidence in performing oral exams and identifying early childhood crises.