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National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, Georgetown University

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Photo of a toddlerResource Highlights:
Focus on Dental Caries in Early Childhood

This collection of selected resources offers current, high-quality information about dental caries in early childhood. Use the tools below for further searching, or contact us for personalized assistance.

For a comprehensive list of materials and websites, review Promoting Oral Health in Young Children: A Resource Guide on this topic.

Selected Materials in the OHRC Library

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. 2014. The State of Little Teeth. Chicago, IL: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. 23 pp.

This report examines tooth decay among young children. Topics include who is most likely to have tooth decay and the immediate and long-term health, social, and economic effects of tooth decay. Additional topics include why tooth decay occurs and strategies to prevent tooth decay in young children. The report also looks at implications of the Affordable Care Act for children’s oral health.

Foster L, Booth M, Reusch C. 2015. Reducing Early Childhood Tooth Decay: An Overview for State Policymakers. Baltimore, MD: U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 4 pp.

This issue brief for state policymakers presents strategies for addressing the problem of early childhood caries (ECC) in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The brief defines ECC, describes the disproportionate impact of ECC on children ages 2 to 5 from families with low incomes and minority households, and outlines ways that states can promote ECC prevention and management within Medicaid and CHIP policies. Topics include emphasizing prevention, assessing and addressing risk, educating and engaging parents, and supporting providers.

Also available: Reducing Early Childhood Tooth Decay: Leading Steps For State Policymakers and Reducing Early Childhood Tooth Decay: Strategies For State Medicaid And CHIP Dental Program Managers.

Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Dental Prevention and Clinical Support Center. 2013. Early Childhood Caries (ECC) Educational Materials. Phoenix, AZ: Inter Tribal Council of Arizona. 4 items.

These resources are designed to help health professionals raise awareness among American Indian parents about ways they can prevent oral disease and promote oral health in infants and children from birth to age 16 months. Topics include tooth decay, oral hygiene, nutrition, and the first dental visit. Contents include a flyer, a brochure, and two posters.

Ng MW. 2013. Risk-Based Disease Prevention and Management of Early Childhood Caries (ECC). Boston, MA: Boston Children's Hospital. 22 pp.

This flip chart is designed to help educators communicate with parents about the importance of initiating good oral health habits early in life to prevent tooth decay. Topics include toothbrushing, fluoride toothpaste, flossing, fluoride varnish, sugar in foods and beverages, bottles and sippy cups, medications, and knee-to-knee oral health screenings.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. 2014. Prevention of Dental Caries in Children from Birth Through Age 5 Years. Rockville, MD: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Multiple items.

This resource provides the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for preventing dental caries in infants and children from birth through age 5. It include recommendations for prescribing fluoride supplements for infants and children starting at age 6 months whose water supply is deficient in fluoride. It also includes recommendations for applying fluoride varnish to infants’ and children’s teeth starting upon eruption of primary teeth. Supporting resources include a recommendation statement, an evidence report, a research plan, a clinical summary, a consumer fact sheet, and an evidence synthesis.

Find more materials in the OHRC Library using advanced search.
See also OHRC publications.
Suggest materials to OHRC for the library.

Selected Websites


American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Dental Association

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors

DentaQuest Institute

Early Childhood Caries Resource Center

From the First Tooth

Find more organizations in OHRC's Organizations Database.

Resource Highlights: Focus on Dental Caries in Early Childhood. August 2015.

Reviewer: Norman Tinanoff, University of Maryland Dental School, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery


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