Oral Health Assessment, Follow-Up, and Treatment

The following materials provide information for Head Start staff and others to help ensure that children receive oral health assessments, follow-up, and treatment. This includes:

  • Establishment of a dental home, an ongoing source of preventive and primary care with diagnostic testing, examination, and treatment
  • Medications, aids, or equipment for dental conditions
  • Preventive measures, such as topical fluoride treatments and fluoride supplements
  • Services addressing the child's Individual Family Service Plan and the Individualized Education Program
thumbnail of guide

Bright Futures in Practice: Oral Health—Pocket Guide

This guide is designed to help health professionals implement oral health supervision guidelines during pregnancy, the postpartum period, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. The guide addresses family preparation, interview questions, risk assessment, screening, examination, preventive procedures, anticipatory guidance, and referrals.

thumbnail of PDF

Dental Hygienists and Head Start: What You Should Know and How You Can Help [PDF, 693KB]

This tip sheet provides information about how dental hygienists can help address the oral health needs of pregnant women, infants, and children enrolled in Head Start. Topics include an overview of the Head Start program, information on children's access to services and oral health status, and promising approaches to providing care for Head Start participants.

thumbnail of PDF

Dentists and Head Start: What You Should Know and How You Can Help [PDF, 692KB]

This tip sheet provides information about how dentists can help address the oral health needs of pregnant women, infants, and children enrolled in Head Start. Children's access to services, oral health status, and approaches to providing care are outlined.

thumbnail of PDF

Discussing Oral Health with Parents of Children Who Have Dental Cavities [PDF, 220KB]

This guide for Head Start staff explains what motivational interviewing is and how it works. The guide provides a script to help staff employ motivational interviewing to encourage parents to take their child to the dentist, brush their child's teeth with fluoridated toothpaste, avoid giving their child drinks with sugar between meals and feeding their child too often during the day, and avoid putting an infant or child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup.

thumbnail of PDF

Fluoride Varnish: An Effective Tool for Preventing Dental Caries [PDF, 169KB]

This fact sheet offers information about fluoride varnish and its uses, effectiveness, safety, service delivery, and reimbursement for health and oral health professionals.

thumbnail of PDF

Fluoride Varnish: Protect Your Child's Smile [PDF, 1.4MB]

This brochure for parents provides information about the benefits of fluoride varnish for protecting primary teeth from decay. Topics include what fluoride varnish is and why it is recommended for infants and children, the safety of fluoride varnish, how it is applied, follow-up care, how long varnish and its benefits last, and costs. Available in Spanish (español) [PDF, 3.3MB] and Arabic (العربية) [PDF, 3.5MB].

thumbnail of video

Head Start and Your Dental Practice

This video offers oral health professionals ways to foster strong relationships with families to promote oral health in young children. Explore how to assess the office environment, develop positive relationships, and partner with Head Start staff. Also, find out about how to receive reimbursement and provide preventive services. The video also talks about teaching and learning techniques for caring for young children, including those with special health care needs.

thumbnail of guide

Head Start Oral Health State Activities [PDF, 431KB]

This report provides examples of Head Start oral health activities in the areas of oral health education, disease prevention, and treatment programs from selected states.

thumbnail of PDF

Medical Providers and Head Start: What You Should Know About Oral Health and How You Can Help [PDF, 726KB]

This tip sheet provides information about how medical providers can help address the oral health needs of pregnant women, infants, and children enrolled in Head Start. Topics include an overview of the Head Start program, information on children's access to services and oral health status, and promising approaches to providing care for Head Start participants.

thumbnail of PDF

Oral Health Self-Management Goals for Parents/Caregivers [PDF, 326KB]

This handout is designed to help parents and other caregivers establish goals related to oral hygiene, oral health care, and feeding and eating practices to improve their child's oral health. Available in Spanish (español) [PDF, 299KB].

thumbnail of PDF

Questions to Ask When Looking for a Dental Office [PDF, 41KB]

Finding a dental office that is best for you and your child can be hard. Here are some questions that you can ask a dental office before you decide to make an appointment.

thumbnail of guide

State Dental Periodicity Schedules

This interactive map shows where Head Start health managers, family service coordinators, home visitors, and others can find individual states' recommended Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment program periodicity schedules for oral health.

Oral Health Assessment, Follow-Up, and Treatment. HHS/ACF/OHS/NCH. 2015. English.

Last Reviewed: February 2017

Last Updated: February 9, 2017