Brush Up on Oral Health Newsletters

The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW) is pleased to offer this oral health resource. The monthly Brush Up on Oral Health newsletter provides Head Start staff with information on best and promising practices in oral health, current research, practical tips, frequently asked questions, and recipes for healthy snacks. Health and social service professionals interested in improving the oral health of pregnant women, infants, and children enrolled in Head Start and their families may also find the newsletter helpful.

Select this link to subscribe to the newsletter.

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August 2016: Oral Health and School Readiness

This issue describes the impact of oral heath on a child’s health and development. Learn about strategies and resources Head Start staff can use to promote oral health among parents and in the classroom. This issue also includes a recipe for a healthy snack that can be made in a Head Start classroom or at home.

Previous issues of the series have been archived by year. Select a year to start exploring.

2016

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July 2016: Engaging Parents in Their Child’s Oral Health

In this issue, find out why it is important for parents to be engaged in their child’s oral health. Learn strategies and resources Head Start staff can use to engage parents in their child’s oral health care. This issue also includes a recipe for a healthy snack that can be made in a Head Start classroom or at home.

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June 2016: Oral Health in Rural Areas

In this issue, find out why maintaining good oral health can be challenging for pregnant women and children living in rural areas. Head Start staff can share this information with parents. This issue also includes a recipe for a healthy snack that can be made in a Head Start classroom or at home.

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May 2016: Risky Business – Tooth Decay and Children

This issue explains why it is important to lower the factors that cause tooth decay and increase the factors that protect teeth from tooth decay. Head Start staff can share this information with parents. This issue also includes a recipe for a healthy snack that can be made in a Head Start classroom or at home.

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April 2016: Weaning a Child from a Bottle

This issue explains why weaning from a bottle is important and offers tips that Head Start staff can share with parents to help. It also provides a recipe for a healthy snack that can be made in a Head Start classroom or at home.

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March 2016: Dental Hygienist Liaisons

Dental hygienists play an important role in promoting oral health and preventing oral disease. Because of this role, the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, working in partnership with the American Dental Hygienists' Association, created the Dental Hygienist Liaison (DHL) program. This issue describes the role of DHLs and how they can help staff promote oral health for pregnant women and children in Head Start programs.

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February 2016: Babies' Oral Health

Taking care of babies' oral health is important. Care should start before the baby's first tooth comes into the mouth. This issue focuses on oral health for babies (from birth to age 12 months) and what Head Start staff can do to help promote good oral health for babies. You will also find ideas for healthy foods to serve babies in Early Head Start programs and at home.

2015

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August 2015: Non-Nutritive Sucking and Pacifiers

Non-nutritive sucking (sucking on something other than a breast or a bottle nipple) is normal for babies. This issue offers tips Head Start staff can share with parents about using pacifiers safely and weaning their child from a pacifier.

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July 2015: Child Abuse

This issue provides Head Start staff with an overview of child abuse and describes oral health signs of physical and sexual abuse. It also highlights resources that are available to Head Start staff to help them support children and families.

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June 2015: Primary (Baby) Teeth

This issue talks about why primary teeth are important and offers information that Head Start staff can share with parents.

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May 2015: Promoting Oral Health During Pregnancy

Taking care of teeth and gums is important for pregnant women's oral health and overall health. This issue highlights some reasons women may not seek or receive oral health care when they are pregnant. It offers strategies Head Start staff can use to help pregnant women achieve good oral health.

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April 2015: American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Tradition

American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) people belong to tribes or are connected to groups that trace their origins to the first peoples of the Americas. AIAN people generally refer to themselves by their tribes. This issue of Brush Up on Oral Health highlights some of the oral health issues faced by AIAN children. It offers culturally appropriate strategies to help AIAN parents and other caregivers improve children's oral health. A description of a healthy snack that can be eaten in the Head Start classroom or at home is also included.

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March 2015: Autism Spectrum Disorder

This issue describes key oral health issues that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face. It also offers tips to help parents and Head Start staff maintain the oral health of children with ASD.

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February 2015: Smoking and Oral Health

This issue describes some smoking-related health problems that affect parents, pregnant women, and children. It also offers tips Head Start staff can use to help parents, pregnant women, and Head Start staff quit smoking.

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January 2015: Dental Clinic Care for Children with Disabilities

This issue offers tips that Head Start staff can share with parents to help them find a dental clinic for their child with disabilities. It also includes tips to share with parents about how to speak with the dental team.

2014

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December 2014: Healthy Bedtime Habits

Brushing children's teeth is an important part of the routine that helps keep them healthy. This issue describes a program developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics to structure children's bedtime routines. It includes tips that Head Start staff can share with parents for choosing children's books on oral health.

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November 2014: Choosing Healthy Behaviors

This issue talks about helping parents choose to make healthy behavior changes that will improve their child's oral health. It also includes a recipe for a healthy snack that can be made in the Head Start classroom or at home.

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October 2014: Oral Injuries

This issue identifies supplies to include in a first aid kit for treating oral injuries. It also explains how to give first aid for the five most common oral injuries that happen to young children with primary (baby) teeth.

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September 2014: Toothbrushing

This issue provides the American Dental Association's fluoride toothpaste recommendations released in February 2014. Toothbrushing in the Head Start program can be done at the sink or classroom table. The issue highlights advantages of brushing at the table and gives instructions for how to do this.

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August 2014: Medicaid and CHIP

This issue describes Medicaid and CHIP and explains why the programs are important. It includes strategies Head Start health managers can use to help parents find a dental office or clinic that accepts Medicaid and CHIP.

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July 2014: Dental Home

This issue describes the features of a dental home. It offers tips for Head Start staff to help parents and pregnant women appreciate, find, and use a dental home. It also includes a healthy snack that can be prepared in the Head Start classroom or at home.

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June 2014: Fluoridated Tap Water

This issue talks about why community water fluoridation is important. It offers tips for Head Start staff to help parents choose fluoridated tap (faucet) water for their family. It also gives ideas for creating a tap-water-friendly home for children.

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May 2014: Oral Habits

This issue provides information on young children's oral habits. It offers strategies Head Start staff can share with parents to help their child practice oral habits safely and to stop oral habits that may damage their child's teeth or mouth.

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April 2014: Teething

This issue provides information on teething. It includes strategies Head Start staff can share with parents to comfort their babies who have teething pain.

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March 2014: Preparing for Dental Visits

This issue provides strategies that Head Start staff can share with parents to prepare young children in a positive way for dental visits.

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February 2014: Promoting Oral Health

This issue provides strategies that Head Start staff can use to promote good oral health among children enrolled in Head Start and their parents.

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January 2014: Oral Injuries

This issue discusses oral injuries that can happen to children. It also identifies strategies Head Start staff and parents can use to help prevent these injuries.

2013

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December 2013: Toothbrushing Tips

This issue points out challenges in helping some children brush. It also gives tips for how to make brushing a good experience.

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November 2013: Case Management

This issue explains how case management can be used to improve the oral health of Head Start participants. It also describes how case managers and parents work together to meet children's oral health needs.

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October 2013: Oral Health Providers

This issue talks about ways that oral health providers can help pregnant women, children, and Head Start staff. It also offers strategies for Head Start staff to partner with oral health providers.

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September 2013: Finding Oral Health Care

This issue discusses why regular dental visits are important. It also offers tips for helping families find oral health care.

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August 2013: Home Visits

This issue discusses promoting oral health during home visits. It also offers simple tips for talking about oral health during visits.

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July 2013: Children with Disabilities

This issue focuses on oral health challenges that some children with disabilities face. It also offers strategies for what Head Start staff and parents can do to address these challenges.

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June 2013: Drink Choices

This issue focuses on making healthy drink choices and identifying drinks with sugar. It also discusses what Head Start staff can do to help parents prevent tooth decay by promoting healthy drink choices (milk and water) and limiting drinks with sugar.

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May 2013: Sugar

This issue is all about sugar! Children who eat foods that are high in sugar often (for example, every hour) during the day are more likely to develop tooth decay.

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April 2013: Tooth Decay

This issue focuses on understanding how tooth decay happens and how fluoride works to prevent it. It also offers guidance on what Head Start staff can do to educate parents about the benefits of fluoride and how to use it to prevent tooth decay.

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March 2013: Cultural and Linguistic Competence

This issue focuses on cultural and linguistic competence, why it is important, and what Head Start staff can do to become better communicators about oral health.

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February 2013: Oral Health Literacy

This issue focuses on oral health literacy, why it is important, and what Head Start staff can do to improve it.

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January 2013: Babies

This issue focuses on oral health for babies (from birth to age 12 months) and what Head Start staff can do to help parents promote good oral health for babies.

2012

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December 2012: Pregnant Women

This issue focuses on oral health for pregnant women and what Head Start staff can do to help women stay healthy during pregnancy.

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November 2012: Parents

This issue gives tips on how Head Start staff can work with parents to improve children's oral health.

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October 2012: Classroom Toothbrushing

This issue is all about toothbrushing, including the use of fluoridated toothpaste, toothbrushing in the classroom, and toothbrush storage.

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September 2012: School Readiness

This inaugural issue discusses the importance of oral health for a child's school readiness and describes ways to help improve the oral health of children in Head Start programs.

NCECHW welcomes your feedback on this newsletter series, as well as your suggestions for topics for future issues. Please forward your comments to health@ecetta.info or call 1-888-227-5125.

Brush Up on Oral Health Newsletters. HHS/ACF/OHS/NCECHW. 2016. English.

Last Reviewed: September 2016

Last Updated: September 22, 2016