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A Guide To Improving Children's Oral Health Care: Tools for the Head Start Community


This guide for Early Head Start/Head Start (EHS/HS) staff provides information to coordinate and establish dental homes and improve oral health care for high-risk, low-income children. Included are resources to support EHS/HS children’s use of dental examinations and treatment and their practice of healthy dental habits at home and in the classroom. This toolkit is part of the New Jersey Smiles Initiative. It is arranged as follows:
  • Section I: Provides an overview of oral health problems in young children
  • Section II: Explains the meaning of a dental home and offers guidelines and resources to help establish one
  • Section III: Suggests ways that EHS/HS staff can educate families about the importance of oral health, and help them to overcome barriers to prevention, evaluation, and treatment
  • Section IV: Offers ways to include prevention, examination, and oral health education, along with dental safety, in the EHS/HS classroom to teach children healthy habits

Links to the Tool:
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Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.; New Jersey Smiles initiative

Funding Sources

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

QualityTool Topic



  • Release Date: 02/2010
  • Original Summary: 08/2012
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Last updated: June 18, 2014.