How Can Professionals Help Prevent or Reduce the Risk of Tooth Decay?
Primary care professionals, other health professionals, and early childhood professionals can promote oral health in the course of promoting general health for infants, children, and their families. Infants and children enrolled in some community-based programs such as WIC and Head Start may be seen by health professionals (dietitians or nurses) in WIC offices during their certification, recertification, and follow-up visits or by early childhood professionals (health specialists, teachers, or home visitors) in Head Start programs during enrollment, screening, and periodic observation. And infants and children are routinely seen by primary care professionals (physicians, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners) for health supervision visits. Yet infants and young children rarely visit a dentist. Therefore, it is critical that professionals who have frequent contact with infants and children be able to help prevent or reduce the risk of tooth decay and to provide appropriate referr