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Maternal and Child Health Bureau logoA Health Professionals Guide to Pediatric Oral Health Management
HomeModuleModule 1: An Introduction to Infants' and Young Children's Oral HealthModule 2: Managing Infants' and Young Children's Oral HealthModule 3: Oral Conditions and AbnormalitiesModule 4: Prevention of Oral DiseaseModule 5: Non-Nutritive Sucking HabitsModule 6: Oral InjuryModule 7: Infants and Young Children with Special Health Care NeedsContentsGlossaryEvaluationHelp
Module 2: Managing Infants' and Young Children's Oral Health
Module Contents
Overview (current page)
2.1 Oral Development

Tooth Eruption and Loss
2.2 Interview and
Risk Assessment

During & After Pregnancy
During Infancy
During Early Childhood
2.3 Oral Screening
2.4 Behavior Management
2.5 Oral Examination
2.6 Anticipatory Guidance

For Pregnant Women,
New Mothers, or Other Intimate Caregivers
For Parents of Infants

For Parents of
Young Children

2.7 The Dental Home
Key Points
Additional Resources


Module 2 provides information about oral development. It describes how to identify factors that place infants and young children at risk for oral health problems, how to perform an oral screening, and how to manage children’s behavior during the screening. It discusses the importance of oral examinations for infants and young children, what such examinations entail, when they should begin, and how often they should be performed. In addition, the module outlines anticipatory guidance for health professionals to provide to parents and emphasizes the importance of establishing a “dental home.”


Learning Objectives

Explain the process of oral development.


List risk and protective factors for oral health in infants and young children.


Explain the infectious pathophysiology and associated risk factors of dental caries.


List the steps for performing an oral screening for infants and young children.


Describe things to do and things to avoid in managing young children’s behavior during the oral screening.


Explain when an infant should begin receiving oral examinations performed by a dentist, and how often such examinations should be performed.


Explain what an oral health examination entails and why it is important for infants and children to receive oral health examinations periodically.


Describe anticipatory guidance to provide to pregnant women and parents of infants and young children.


Understand the importance of establishing a dental home for infants and young children.

Time to Complete this Lesson Module: Approximately 20 minutes
Begin Module 2

logo: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau