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Head Start

Brush Up on Oral Health Archive

The monthly Brush Up on Oral Health tip sheet provides Head Start staff with information on best and promising practices in oral health, current research, practical tips, frequently asked questions, and recipes for healthy snacks. Health and social service professionals interested in improving the oral health of pregnant women, infants, and children enrolled in Head Start and their families may also find Brush Up on Oral Health helpful.

OHRC welcomes your feedback on this series, as well as your suggestions for topics for future tip sheets. Please forward your comments to ohrcinfo@georgetown.edu.

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2018

  • March 2018: Child Maltreatment
    This tip sheet describes oral health signs of physical and sexual abuse. It also highlights resources available to Head Start staff to help them support families.

  • February 2018: Water and Health
    This tip sheet describes why drinking water is important for good oral health. It provides resources Head Start staff can use to promote drinking water and tips for encouraging children to drink water.

  • January 2018: Fear of Dental Visits
    This tip sheet describes reasons some parents may fear dental visits and avoid seeking care. The tip sheet discusses common reasons parents fear dental visits and offers tips for helping parent get over fear of dental visits.

2017

  • December 2017: Oral Health, Overall Health, and Learning
    This tip sheet describes one part of the Head Start Program Performance Standard, Ensuring up-to-date child health status, 45 CFR § 1302.42(b)(1), and how it relates to oral health. It discusses how Head Start programs can find and use the dental periodicity schedule for their state.

  • November 2017: Healthy Bedtime Habits
    This tip sheet describes the Brush, Book, Bed program developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics to structure children’s bedtime routines. The tip sheet includes recommendations that Head Start staff can share with parents for choosing children’s books on oral health.

  • October 2017: Follow-up Oral Health Care
    This tip sheet talks about why it is important to treat tooth decay in primary teeth and offers tips for Head Start staff to encourage parents to get follow-up care for their child. Tips include finding out why the child has not been taken for follow-up care, sharing written information with parents, and arranging a field trip to a dental office or clinic.

  • September 2017: Finding Oral Health Care
    This tip sheet talks about why regular dental visits are important and offers tips for Head Start staff to help pregnant women and parents find and use oral health care. Tips include finding out if the pregnant women or child has insurance, working with a family service worker or case manager to find care, and using online databases to find care.

  • August 2017: Talking with Children About Dental Visits
    This tip sheet provides tips for Head Start staff to share with parents to prepare children for dental visits. Tips include being positive, not bringing up shots or possible pain, and role-playing visiting the dentist and dental hygienist.

  • July 2017: Pregnancy and Oral Health
    This tip sheet talks about oral health concerns during pregnancy and offers tips for Head Start staff to help pregnant women keep their mouths healthy. Tips include brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day.

  • June 2017: Promoting Oral Health In Head Start
    This tip sheet provides strategies that Head Start staff can use to promote good oral health among children and parents. Strategies include using teaching practices that engage children, integrating oral health into activities, engaging parents in promoting oral health at home, and participating in or creating oral health campaigns and programs.

  • May 2017: The Importance of Oral Health for Adults
    This tip sheet talks about the impact of oral health on adults’ overall health and well-being and offers tips on what Head Start staff can do to help adults keep their mouths healthy. Tips include brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day.

  • April 2017: Oral Injuries
    This tip sheet discusses oral injuries that can happen to children. It also identifies strategies Head Start staff can use to help prevent these injuries.

  • March 2017: Primary (Baby) Teeth
    This tip sheet talks about why primary teeth are important and offers information that Head Start staff can share with parents. Topics include how the health of primary teeth affects overall health and nutrition and how primary teeth help with the development of speech.

  • February 2017: Fluoride Supplements
    This tip sheet provides information about fluoride supplements and the role of Head Start staff in promoting them. Determining a child’s need for fluoride is also discussed.

  • January 2017: Oral Health and Home Visits
    This tip sheet addresses how Head Start staff can promote the importance of oral health during home visits. It talks about the important of promoting health during home visits and provides tips for how to do it.

2016

  • December 2016: Choosing Healthy Drinks
    This tip sheet focuses on choosing healthy drinks and identifying drinks with added sugar. It also discusses how Head Start staff can help parents prevent tooth decay by promoting healthy drink choices (e.g., milk, fluoridated tap or bottled water) and limiting drinks with sugar.

  • November 2016: Oral Health Literacy
    This tip sheet focuses on oral health literacy, why it is important, and what Head Start staff can do to improve it. Strategies include looking for and delivering oral health information that is easy to understand, speaking clearly and listening carefully, and building parents’ knowledge to improve their ability to make good oral health decisions.

  • October 2016: Case Management in Head Start
    This tip sheet defines case management and explains how it can improve the oral health of children enrolled in Head Start. It also describes how case managers and parents can work together to meet children’s oral health needs.

  • September 2016: Toothbrushing in Head Start
    This tip sheet focuses on toothbrushing in a Head Start classroom. Topics include the amount of fluoride toothpaste to use, how to set up a daily toothbrushing routine, and how to clean and store toothbrushes.

  • August 2016: Oral Health and School Readiness
    This tip sheet describes the impact of oral heath on a child’s health and development. It includes strategies and resources Head Start staff can use to promote oral health among parents and in the classroom.

  • July 2016: Engaging Parents in Their Child’s Oral Health
    This tip sheet describes why it is important for parents to be engaged in their child’s oral health. It includes strategies and resources Head Start staff can use to engage parents in their child’s oral health.

  • June 2016: Oral Health in Rural Areas
    This tip sheet identifies some oral health challenges faced by families living in rural areas. It offers tips for Head Start staff to help families overcome the challenges.

  • May 2016: Risky Business—Tooth Decay and Children
    This tip sheet explains why it is important to reduce the factors that cause tooth decay and increase the factors that protect teeth from tooth decay. It discusses how Head Start staff can share this information with parents.

  • April 2016: Weaning a Child from a Bottle
    This tip sheet explains why weaning from a bottle is important and offers tips that Head Start staff can share with parents to help. Tips are divided into three topics: preparing for weaning, using a gradual approach, and going cold turkey.

  • March 2016: Dental Hygienist Liaisons
    This tip sheet describes the role of dental hygienist liaisons and how they can help staff promote oral health for pregnant women and children in Head Start programs. Suggestions include sharing information about the importance of oral health and helping Head Start staff identify and establish a dental home for pregnant women and children.

  • February 2016: Babies' Oral Health
    This tip sheet focuses on oral health for babies (from birth to age 12 months) and what Head Start staff can do to help promote good oral health for babies. Ideas for healthy foods to serve babies in Early Head Start programs and at home are also included.

2015

  • September 2015: School Readiness  | En Español
    This tip sheet describes the impact of oral health on school readiness and provides resources Head Start staff can use to help improve the oral health of children enrolled in Head Start. Examples of how tooth decay impacts school readiness are provided.

  • August 2015: Non-Nutritive Sucking and Pacifiers  | En Español
    This tip sheet offers tips Head Start staff can share with parents about using pacifiers safely and weaning their child from a pacifier. Tips include waiting until breastfeeding is going well, letting baby decide whether to use a pacifier, and trying other things before using a pacifier to help sooth a baby.
  • July 2015: Child Abuse  | En Español
    This tip sheet provides Head Start staff with an overview of child abuse and describes oral health signs of physical and sexual abuse. It also highlights resources that are available to Head Start staff to help them support children and families.
  • June 2015: Primary (Baby) Teeth  | En Español
    This tip sheet talks about why primary teeth are important and offers information about primary teeth that Head Start staff can share with parents. Types of information include information about how the health of primary teeth affects overall health and nutrition and how primary teeth help with the development of speech.

  • May 2015: Promoting Oral Health During Pregnancy  | En Español
    This tip sheet highlights some reasons women may not seek or receive oral health care when they are pregnant. It offers strategies Head Start staff can use to help pregnant women achieve good oral health.

  • April 2015: American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Tradition  | En Español
    This tip sheet highlights some of the oral health issues faced by American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) children. It offers culturally appropriate strategies to help AIAN parents and other caregivers improve children’s oral health.

  • March 2015: Autism Spectrum Disorder  | En Español
    This tip sheet describes key oral health issues that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face. The tip sheet also offers tips to help parents and Head Start staff maintain the oral health of children with ASD.

  • February 2015: Smoking and Oral Health  | En Español
    This tip sheet describes some smoking-related health problems that affect parents, pregnant women, and children. It also offers tips Head Start staff can use to help parents, pregnant women, and Head Start staff stop smoking.

  • January 2015: Dental Clinic Care for Children with Disabilities  | En Español
    This tip sheet offers tips that Head Start staff can share with parents to help them find a dental clinic for their child with disabilities. The issue also includes tips to share with parents about how to speak with the dental team.

2014

  • December 2014: Healthy Bedtime Habits
    This tip sheet describes a program developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics to structure children’s bedtime routines. It includes recommendations that Head Start staff can share with parents for choosing children’s books on oral health.

  • November 2014: Choosing Healthy Behaviors
    This tip sheet talks about helping parents choose to make healthy behavior changes that will improve their child’s oral health. Steps to help parent choose to make healthy behavior changes include being prepared to talk about the family’s oral health needs and asking for permission to discuss oral health.

  • October 2014: Oral Injuries
    This tip sheet identifies supplies to include in a first aid kit for treating oral injuries. It also explains how to give first aid for the five most common oral injuries that happen to young children with primary (baby) teeth.

  • September 2014: Toothbrushing
    This tip sheet provides the American Dental Association’s fluoride toothpaste recommendations, which were released in February 2014. It highlights some advantages of brushing at the classroom table and gives step-by-step instructions for how to do this.

  • August 2014: Medicaid and CHIP
    This tip sheet describes Medicaid and CHIP and explains why the programs are important. It includes strategies Head Start health managers can use to help parents find a dental office or clinic that accepts Medicaid and CHIP.

  • July 2014: Dental Home
    This tip sheet describes the features of a dental home. It offers tips for Head Start staff to help parents and pregnant women appreciate, find, and use a dental home.

  • June 2014: Fluoridated Tap Water
    This tip sheet talks about why community water fluoridation is important. It offers tips for Head Start staff to help parents choose fluoridated tap (faucet) water for their family. It also gives ideas for creating a tap-water-friendly home for children.

  • May 2014: Oral Habits
    This tip sheet provides information on young children’s oral habits. It offers strategies Head Start staff can share with parents to help their child practice oral habits safely and to stop oral habits that may damage their child’s teeth or mouth.

  • April 2014: Teething
    This tip sheet provides information on teething and offers strategies Head Start staff can share with parents to comfort their babies who have teething pain. Teething basics are also discussed.

  • March 2014: Preparing for Dental Visits
    This tip sheet provides strategies that Head Start staff can share with parents to prepare young children in a positive way for dental visits.

  • February 2014: Promoting Oral Health
    This tip sheet provides strategies that Head Start staff can use to promote good oral health among children enrolled in Head Start and their parents. Strategies include using effective teaching practices to engage children and integrating oral health into activities.

  • January 2014: Oral Injuries
    This tip sheet discusses oral injuries that can happen to children. It also identifies strategies Head Start staff and parents can use to help prevent these injuries.

2013

  • December 2013: Toothbrushing Tips
    This tip sheet points out some challenges in helping children brush. It also gives tips for how to make brushing a good experience.

  • November 2013: Case Management
    This tip sheet explains how case management can be used to improve the oral health of Head Start participants. It also describes how case managers and parents work together to meet children’s oral health needs.

  • October 2013: Oral Health Providers
    This tip sheet talks about ways that oral health providers can help pregnant woman, children, and Head Start staff. It also offers strategies for Head Start staff to partner with oral health providers.

  • September 2013: Finding Oral Health Care
    This tip sheet discusses why regular dental visits are important. It also offers tips for helping families find oral health care.

  • August 2013: Home Visits
    This tip sheet discusses promoting oral health during home visits. It also offers simple tips for talking about oral health during visits.

  • July 2013: Children with Disabilities
    This tip sheet focuses on oral health challenges that some children with disabilities face and what Head Start staff and parents can do to address these challenges. Strategies include giving children with disabilities extra support in the classroom and recognizing that children with disabilities are at high risk for tooth decay.

  • June 2013: Drink Choices
    This tip sheet focuses on making healthy drink choices, identifying drinks with sugar, and what Head Start staff can do to help parents prevent tooth decay by promoting healthy drink choices (milk and water) and limiting drinks with sugar.

  • May 2013: Sugar
    This tip sheet focuses on sugar. Topics include sugar and tooth decay, finding hidden sugar, and helping parents limit their child’s sugar intake.

  • April 2013: Tooth Decay
    This tip sheet focuses on understanding how tooth decay happens, how fluoride works to prevent it, and what Head Start staff can do to educate parents about the benefits of fluoride and how to use it to prevent tooth decay.

  • March 2013: Cultural and Linguistic Competence
    This tip sheet focuses on cultural and linguistic competence, why it is important, and what Head Start staff can do to become better communicators about oral health. Topics include how knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs affect oral health and what Head Start staff can do to improve cultural and linguistic competence in oral health.

  • February 2013: Oral Health Literacy
    This tip sheet focuses on oral health literacy, why it is important, and what Head Start staff can do to improve it. Strategies include asking parents what they know about preventing tooth decay and serving as sources of accurate oral health information for parents.

  • January 2013: Babies
    This tip sheet focuses on oral health for babies (from birth to age 12 months) and what Head Start staff can do to help promote good oral health for babies. Topics include care of babies’ mouths and the first dental visit.

2012

  • December 2012: Pregnant Women
    This tip sheet focuses on oral health for pregnant women and what Head Start staff can do to help women stay healthy during pregnancy. Beliefs related to oral health and pregnancy are also discussed.

  • November 2012: Parents
    This tip sheet gives tips on how Head Start staff can work with parents to improve children’s oral health. Why it is important to engage parents in their child’s oral health is also discussed.

  • October 2012: Classroom Toothbrushing
    This tip sheet is all about toothbrushing. The tip sheet answers questions about fluoride toothpaste, how to set up a toothbrushing activity in a Head Start classroom, and how toothbrushes should be stored.

  • September 2012: School Readiness
    This tip sheet, the first in the series, discusses why good oral health is more than a pretty smile. It talks about educating Head Start staff about oral health and introduces the Choose and Use Head Start Oral health curricula guide.