Oral Health in Primary Care

  • Oral health screening recommended at age 1 year
  • Children typically begin to see dentist at age 3 to 6 years
  • Pediatric clinicians can provide initial screening and care for oral health at health maintenance visits (6 in year 1, 3 in year 2)
  • Counseling about prevention
  • Analysis of children's risk factors for ECC
  • Possible interventions, such as applying fluoride varnish
  • Clinicians should recommend dentist and help reduce barriers to care for children at high risk of ECC

Items to Remember

  • Genetic malformations of enamel are extremely rare
  • Prenatal exposure to medications are not a major cause of early caries
  • Fluorosis rarely occurs in baby teeth
  • Cavities are most likely due to diet and feeding, not tooth brushing technique

All health professionals have a shared responsibility to recognize and discuss oral disease with patients and their families/caregivers. The knowledge and skills of non-dental health professionals can help patients and caregivers improve oral health. They can assist with home care and accessing dental treatment.

Role of health professionals

Enabling families to provide better oral hygiene and nutrition for their child.

Educating families about oral health needs.

Establishing good preventive habits.

Identifying the skills, procedures, and therapies in each profession which can be used to improve oral health.

Appreciate your responsibility for your patients overall health.

Refer and Coordinate with the patient’s dentist.


Together, we CAN make a difference!