Children’s Oral Health Initiative Oral Health Messaging Guide



Download 29.04 Kb.
Date conversion29.01.2017
Size29.04 Kb.




Children’s Oral Health Initiative

Oral Health Messaging Guide

The goal of the Children’s Oral Health Initiative is to improve access to and utilization of dental services for children enrolled in DC Medicaid. The District of Columbia identified various barriers that prevent beneficiaries from accessing oral health services, including lack of oral health literacy and understanding on how to access oral health services. To help address this issue, DHCF compiled an oral health messaging guide, which participants of the Children’s Oral Health Initiative can use when developing materials or speaking with children and families enrolled in the DC Medicaid program.


This guide includes oral health messaging targeted to dental providers, primary care providers, and parents. The purpose of this guide to provide simple and effective oral health messaging to educate District of Columbia families about the importance of children’s oral health and regularly seeing their primary dental provider. This messaging comes directly from the Maryland Oral Health Coalition’s Oral Health Campaign, which has been proven effective in increasing oral health literacy of low-income families.
TARGET AUDIENCES
The messages highlighted in this document are targeted for pregnant women, mothers of young children (ages 0-6), primary care and dental providers. Children’s Oral Health Initiative participants are encouraged to use and adapt any of these messages when speaking with families and when developing educational materials about oral health.
OBJECTIVES
The main objectives for using the messages highlighted in this guide are to:


  1. Increase prevention of dental caries among target audiences.

Understanding



  • Help mothers understand they have the power to impact their child’s oral health.

  • Oral health begins before birth and is important throughout life.

  • Tooth decay is a preventable infectious disease that can be spread from mother to child through sharing food, drinks and utensils.

  • Fluoride is key in preventing tooth decay.

Action


  • As a parent, practice good personal oral hygiene.

  • Do not lay your baby down with a bottle containing juice or milk.

  • Do not share food, drinks or utensils to avoid spreading oral infections.

  • Clean baby’s gums and teeth.




  1. Brush using fluoride toothpaste.




  1. Increase number of dentist visits among target audiences.

  • Visit a dentist during pregnancy.

  • Get baby to a dentist by baby’s first birthday.



MESSAGING TO PARENTS & GUARDIANS
Option A:
Healthy Mouths = Healthy Kids
Healthy mouths are important – even for babies and young children

  • Children need healthy teeth to help them chew and to speak clearly.

  • Baby teeth hold space for adult teeth.

  • Poor oral health can cause your child to have problems eating, speaking, learning and socializing.

  • Keep your child’s mouth healthy.

Cavities can cause your child pain and serious health problems – the good news is you can prevent cavities.



Option B:
How to Care for Your Child’s Mouth
Clean

  • Clean your baby’s gums before teeth come in with a clean, soft cloth after feedings and before bedtime.

  • As your baby’s teeth come in, brush them with a child’s toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste twice a day, every day, especially before bed.

  • Fluoride protects teeth from tooth decay. It can even heal early decay.

  • Young children cannot get their teeth clean by themselves; you will need to help them brush until they are about 6 to 8 years old.


Visit Your Dentist

  • First visit by first birthday – whether teeth have appeared or not.

  • Take your child to the dentist every six months.

  • Choose a pediatric or general dentist for your child’s primary dental provider

  • Information on dental health coverage under the Medicaid program.



No Bottle in Bed & No Sippy Cup

  • Do not lay your baby down with a bottle at nap or night time.

  • Milk, formula, juice, and other drinks all have sugar in them. If sugary liquids stay on your baby’s teeth too long, either with a bottle in bed or when using a sippy cup, it can lead to painful tooth decay.


Give Milk or Water

  • Give your child milk or water; do not give sugary drinks, such as soda, juices with sugar or punch.

  • The sugar from soda, juices with sugar or punch stays on your child’s teeth and can cause cavities.

  • If you want to give your child 100% fruit juice, only give 4 ounces per day served in an open cup and have your child drink it in one sitting.

  • Drink tap water if your community or household water has fluoride in it. Fluoridated water has lifelong benefits in reducing tooth decay.


Do Not Share Food, Spoons, or Forks



Option C:
Caring for Your Child’s Mouth from Birth through Age 6
Birth and Infancy

  • After feedings and before bedtime, use a clean, damp washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums to prevent buildup of damaging bacteria.

  • Do not lay your baby down with a bottle.


Product to use: Infant washcloth.
First Tooth

  • As soon as your child’s first tooth comes in, brush twice a day, with fluoride toothpaste, especially before bedtime.

  • Use a soft child’s toothbrush and use water and a smear of fluoride toothpaste.

  • When using toothpaste, be careful to use only a small amount to prevent your child from swallowing the toothpaste.

  • Take your child to the dentist, no later than age one.

  • Do not lay your baby down with a bottle.

  • By child’s first birthday, teach him/her how to drink out of an open cup.

  • Only give your child milk or water; do not give him/her drinks with added sugar, including soda, juice, and punch.


Products to use: Child’s toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste.
Ages 2-3

  • Start teaching your child how to brush his/her teeth, but continue to brush for them to ensure teeth are cleaned properly.

  • Brush your child’s teeth with a smear of fluoride toothpaste twice a day, especially before bedtime.

  • As soon as two teeth touch each other, floss between them once a day.

  • Take your child to the dentist every six months.

  • Establish a dental home, a dentist that you and your family see on a regular basis, providing care for the majority of your dental needs.

  • Talk to your doctor or dentist about fluoride in your water. If your child drinks water that isn’t fluoridated, he or she may need fluoride pills or drops.


Products to use: Child’s toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, dental floss.
Ages 4-6

  • Continue to teach your child how to brush his/her teeth with a smear of fluoride toothpaste and encourage your child to brush on his/her own. Monitor your child closely to ensure he/she does not swallow toothpaste.

  • After your child brushes, it is important for you to brush his/her teeth to ensure teeth are cleaned properly.

  • Start to teach your child how to floss. Floss your child’s teeth once a day.

  • Take your child to the dentist every six months.

  • If you have not already, establish a dental home, a dentist that you and your family see on a regular basis, providing care for the majority of your dental needs.

  • If you have not already, talk to your doctor or dentist about fluoride in your water. If your child drinks water that isn’t fluoridated, he or she may need fluoride pills or drops.


Products to use: Child’s toothbrush, basic fluoride toothpaste, dental floss.

MESSAGING TO PREGNANT WOMEN
How to Care for Your Mouth While You are Pregnant
Caring for your mouth while you are pregnant is important.  The health of your mouth can affect you and your baby.

  • Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue twice a day (especially before bed) with fluoride toothpaste.

  •  Floss your teeth once a day. Use about a foot and a half of dental floss and wrap the ends around your fingers. Gently slide the floss up and down between each tooth.

  • Visit the Dentist

    • It is safe to go to the dentist while you are pregnant.

    • Medicaid Dental Programs cover dental costs during pregnancy.

    • [Insert MCO specific link to pregnancy coverage information]

  • Choose healthy food & drinks

    • Avoid foods and drinks with added sugar, such as soda, juice, punch, cookies, and candy.

    • Eat healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables for ultimate oral and overall health.

Why is my oral health so important while I’m pregnant?



  • Your body is changing in many ways to support your pregnancy.  These changes can cause dental problems if you do not take good care of your mouth.

  • Taking care of your teeth and mouth is one of the first ways you can care for your unborn child, and it is just as important as eating well and taking prenatal vitamins.

  • Poor oral health can cause gum disease, such as pregnancy gingivitis, which can hurt, look unattractive, and may be a cause of early birth or low birth-weight babies.



MESSAGING TO PROVIDERS
Option A:
Help parents/caregivers properly care for their own and their child’s mouth

  • The latest research and recommendations urge dentists to see children by their first birthday for early prevention of tooth decay.

  • Pediatric dental leaders recommend brushing teeth as soon as they come in with a smear of fluoride toothpaste – twice a day, especially before bed.

  • Inform parents/caregivers about the link between oral health and overall health.

  • Talk to parents/caregivers about the importance of giving their child healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables and food and drinks without added sugar.

  • Talk to parents/caregivers using plain language.



Option B:
Take Action

  • Encourage pregnant patients to see a dentist during pregnancy and inform them of the possible link between poor oral health and pre-term birth.

  • Ask mom/caregiver about his/her own and baby’s daily oral health routine.

  • Tell them they must brush their child’s teeth twice a daily with fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities.

  • Make sure mom/caregiver knows to clean, and how to clean, baby’s teeth and gums after feedings and before bedtime.

  • Educate mom/caregiver about proper brushing, benefits of fluoride, signs and symptoms of poor oral health for child.

    • Avoid juice drinks (i.e., punch) and soft drinks; juice should be 100% fruit juice, no more than 4 ounces a day, drank in one sitting, served in an open cup.

    • Oral disease is infectious – mom/caregiver should not share food, drinks, or utensils with child.

    • Do not lay baby down with a bottle at nap time or night time.

    • Do not use a sippy cup for your child.

  • Ask parents/caregivers if they have questions about oral health.

  • Help families determine the fluoride content of their tap water and encourage them to drink tap water if their water is fluoridated.

    • If tap water is not fluoridated, you may want to consider prescribing fluoride supplements.

  • At the 6- and 9-month check-up, add to mom/caregiver’s to-do list to schedule baby’s first dentist visit by their first birthday.

  • Conduct a caries risk assessment using the AAPD’s Caries-risk Assessment Tool (CAT).

  • Apply fluoride varnish to children younger than 3 years of age.



Option C:
Knee-to-Knee Exam
Knee-to-Knee Examination Steps1

  1. Have the parent sit in a chair with the child in his/her lap. Interact warmly with the infant/toddler and the parent.

  2. Give the child a toothbrush that has been removed from packaging.

  3. Determine if the parent or another adult helps the child with tooth brushing by asking “How do you take care of your child’s teeth?” If the parent helps a child with brushing, give praise and approval as you have them demonstrate what they do at home. If they don’t help with brushing, encourage them to.

  4. Assume the “knee-to-knee” posture. If you can, hold the child “face to face” and place the child’s legs around your hips. Lower the child’s head onto the parent’s lap. Ask the parent to continue brushing the child’s teeth. While this is happening, observe the child’s mouth and teeth as much as possible as you supervise the tooth cleaning activity. If you are unable to complete this step, proceed to Step 7.

  5. Continue to praise the parent for what they’re doing well.

  6. Reverse the position of the child by asking the parent to take the child from you. Say, “Give your child a hug now and put her/his legs around your hips.” Now gently lower the youngster’s head onto your lap.

  7. The parent can help you by holding the child’s hands as you complete the examination.

  8. Use the child’s toothbrush and quickly assess the child’s oral condition.

  9. Use a dental mirror and continue to assess the child’s oral condition and record findings.

  10. Advise the parent of oral findings and recommendations for follow-up.




1 Adapted from Knee-to-Knee Examination Procedure, an article by Peter K. Domoto, DDS, Professor and Chair, Pediatric Dentistry, University of Washington School of Dentistry and Donna Oberg, RD, MPH, Seattle/King County Public Health, in WSDA News, February 1998.



The database is protected by copyright ©dentisty.org 2016
send message

    Main page