Improving Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Focus Areas:
- Educating providers on the safety and importance of oral health care during pregnancy, encouraging referrals to care, and ensuring that pregnant women have access to oral health care during and after their pregnancy.
- Educating families, health care providers, child care providers and others about dental caries – including how to prevent the disease and manage it after onset.
- Spotlighting access issues, so that children, especially those at greatest risk for dental disease, visit the dentist by age one as recommended by AAPD.
- Emphasizing the need for children and families to have access to preventive measures, including information, and to oral health professionals for regular screenings and treatment.
- Promoting information about the preventable and infectious nature of dental caries to the public at large to increase their knowledge and actions in preventing dental disease.
Primary activities include:
- Raising awareness about the preventable nature of early childhood caries
- Raising awareness among providers and the public on the importance and safety of dental treatment during pregnancy
- Developing educational materials on the importance of oral health care during pregnancy, both for the woman and the child’s health
- Analyzing research, policies, public programs, and best practices to forge recommendations to improve perinatal and infant oral health and access to care
- Developing effective partnerships, with both traditional and new partners, to advance oral health efficiently and effectively
- Preparing documents, presentations, materials for delivery to, or use by, other maternal and child health organizations
- Examining emerging issues and developing consensus among colleagues regarding the need for care
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