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Bright Futures Oral Health Toolbox

Health Professionals and Human Services Providers

Bright Futures

Bright Futures: Oral Health—Pocket Guide (3rd. ed.)
National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
This guide is designed to help health professionals implement specific oral health guidelines during pregnancy and the postpartum period, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence.


Bright Futures Health Supervision Guidelines (4th ed.)
American Academy of Pediatrics
These guidelines provide child-health-promotion information and guidance for health professionals, from pediatricians to public health officials to school nurses.

Education and Training

see also Head Start Oral Health Curricula at-a-Glance pdf
Pediatric Oral Health logo

A Health Professional's Guide to Pediatric Oral Health Management
National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
This curriculum provides information on performing oral screenings to identify infants and children at increased risk for oral health problems, offering referrals to oral health professionals, and providing parents with anticipatory guidance.


Dental Health Screening and Fluoride Varnish Application
University of Minnesota
This course covers the etiology and prevention of tooth decay, strategies for prevention, oral health screening and examination, the fluoride varnish application procedure, and the billing process.


Health and Safety in the Child Care Setting: Promoting Children's Oral Health—A Curriculum for Health Professionals and Child Care Providers
California Childcare Health Program
This curriculum is written for health professionals and child care providers in California to promote oral health for infants and young children. Lessons address oral development, oral habits, health and oral hygiene, fluoridation, diet and nutrition, and injury prevention and care.


Open Wide Oral Health ModulesOpen Wide: Oral Health Training for Health Professionals
National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
This series of four modules is designed to help health and early childhood professionals (for example, Head Start and WIC staff) working in community settings promote oral health, with information about tooth decay, risk factors, prevention, and anticipatory guidance to share with parents.


Planning Guide for Dental Professionals Serving Children with Special Health Care Needs
University of Southern California University Affiliated Program, Children's Hospital Los Angeles
This guide promotes a framework within which oral health professionals can communicate and work with families to ensure that children receive appropriate, high-quality oral health care.


Practical Oral Care for People with Developmental Disabilities: Making a Difference
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
This series of publications is designed to equip oral health professionals with information on delivering high-quality oral health care to people with special health care needs. Strategies for care covering topics such as mobility, neuromuscular and behavioral problems, sensory impairment, and other treatment considerations are discussed in the context of the general dental office setting.


Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum (3rd ed.)
Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, Group on Oral Health
This curriculum comprises seven modules covering core areas of oral health. Topics include oral and systemic health, child oral health, adult oral health, acute oral health problems, oral health and pregnant women, fluoride varnish, and the oral examination. The modules may be completed online or downloaded and are suitable for individual or small-group education.


Special Care: An Oral Health Professional's Guide to Serving Young Children with Special Health Care Needs
National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
This continuing education (CE) course provides oral health professionals with information to ensure that young children with special health care needs have access to health-promotion and disease-prevention services that address their unique oral health needs in a comprehensive, family-centered, and community-based manner. Four CE credits through the Department of Health and Human Services' Indian Health Service or through the American Dental Hygienists' Association will be awarded upon successful completion of the course.

Screening/Risk Assessment

Guidelines for Oral Health Screening in Ohio's Schools
Ohio Department of Health, Oral Health Section
These guidelines guide school nurses in conducting oral screenings for students. Topics covered include which grades should participate, preparation for screening, infection control, disposal procedure, screening setup and technique, confidentiality, and documenting oral observations.


Oral Conditions in Children with Special Needs: A Guide for Health Care Providers
California Connections Project
This guide provides full-color photographs of oral conditions, each accompanied by descriptive text and a recommendation for health professionals who encounter the condition. Conditions include tooth eruption, malocclusion, tooth anomalies, developmental defects, viral infections, gingival infections, dental caries, oral trauma, bruxism (tooth grinding), and gingival overgrowth resulting from medications.


Oral Health Risk Assessment Tool and Tool Guidance; Online Tutorial
Children's Oral Health, American Academy of Pediatrics
This tool was pilot tested in pediatricians' offices by multidisciplinary teams of pediatric health professionals and found to be easy to implement, taking just 2 minutes during the well-child visit.


Oral Health Risk Assessment Timing and Establishment of the Dental Home
American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Pediatric Dentistry
This policy statement focuses on guidelines for the identification of pregnant women and children at high risk for dental caries.


Guideline on Caries-Risk Assessment and Management for Infants, Children, and Adolescents
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
This guideline is intended to educate health professionals and others on the assessment of caries risk in contemporary pediatric dentistry and to aid in clinical decision-making about diagnostic, fluoride, dietary, and restorative protocols.


Topical Fluoride for Caries Prevention
Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, American Dental Association
This full-color decision-support tool is based on scientific evidence.


Topical Fluoride Recommendations for High-Risk Children: Development of Decision Support Matrix
Altarum Institute
This matrix summarizes recommendations from an expert panel convened in 2007 to develop a decision-making tool for primarily non-oral-health-professional audiences on the use of topical fluoride in preventing and controlling dental caries in young children at high risk for dental caries.

Anticipatory Guidance Tools

Anticipatory Guidance for Oral Health and Prevention of Dental Caries
Minnesota Department of Health
This section of an oral health screening online module provides an anticipatory guidance timeline.


Anticipatory Guidance for Pregnant Women, New Mothers, or Other Caregivers; Parents of Infants; and Parents of Children (Ages 1–5);
National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
These handouts from Open Wide: Oral Health Training for Health Professionals are brief and easy to read.


The Dental Home: It's Never Too Early to Start
Healthy Smiles Healthy Children, the Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
This tool addresses the concept of the dental home and how parents and oral health professionals can make a difference. It also provides recommendations for professionals and key messages to share with parents.


Public Education

(order in bulk)


Tooth Decay animation


Follow OHRC on YouTubeNational Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center's YouTube Channel