Health Manager Orientation Guide

Oral Health Status

The Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS) require programs to determine if children have a source of continuous, accessible oral health care. Programs must also obtain documentation from an oral health professional about whether a child is up to date on their oral health care based on the dental periodicity schedule prescribed by the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) program of the Medicaid agency of the state where the Head Start program operates.

Tips and Strategies for Obtaining Children’s Oral Health Status

  • Make sure your program’s recordkeeping system includes the relevant oral health requirements for each participant in your program and that you know your state’s EPSDT dental periodicity schedule  and who can conduct an oral exam.
  • Determine if each child has a source of continuous, accessible oral health care within the first 30 days of enrollment in your program.
  • Help families of children who are uninsured identify a source of insurance.
  • Help families of children without a source of continuous, accessible oral health care find one.
  • Obtain documentation of each child’s oral health status from an oral health professional.
  • Determine if each child is up to date on the state’s EPSDT dental periodicity schedule within the first 90 days of enrollment. For programs that operate for 90 days or less, the determination should occur within 30 days from the date the child first attends the program.
  • If children are not up to date on the state’s EPSDT dental periodicity schedule, help families bring their child up to date as quickly as possible.
  • Ask oral health professionals to fill out an oral health form (e.g., Head Start Oral Health Form) to document the oral health care the child received and whether the child needs additional care.
  • Review and, if needed, revise program confidentiality policies.
  • Adhere to program confidentiality policies when requesting and storing oral health information from oral health professionals.
  • Establish collaborative relationships with oral health professionals and other health and social service professionals.

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