Module 3: Oral Health Supervision
Special Care- Oral Health Supervision

Key Points

  • To provide appropriate oral health care for CSHCN, oral health professionals need to gather key information from parents about the mother’s perinatal history and the child’s developmental, medical, dental, and nutritional histories.
  • As part of an oral health examination, oral health professionals should assess the following: enamel hypoplasia and enamel demineralization (white spots); presence and severity of dental caries; developmental anomalies, delayed tooth eruption, and malocclusion; diseases, lesions, or inflammation of the gingiva and other soft tissues; oral reflexes and oral sensitivity; and oral trauma and injuries.
  • Dental trauma may be an important marker for child abuse because craniofacial, head, face, and neck injuries occur in more than half of the cases of child abuse.
  • In most states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. jurisdictions, oral health professionals are required to report suspected child abuse and/or neglect.
  • As part of health supervision, oral health professionals should provide parents with anticipatory guidance. Although anticipatory guidance for most children is based on chronological age, in CSHCN it is based on the child’s growth and development and level of functioning in activities of daily living.
  • Under oral health supervision, oral health professionals should discuss with parents what steps will be taken to achieve expected outcomes.