Oral Health

The Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Maine AAP) works to improve children's oral health through communication and collaboration between medical and dental homes. We aim to make pediatricians and other child health professionals an essential part of the oral health care team in Maine practices. Nationally, through the AAP ‘Section on Oral Health,' and locally via our Chapter Champion for Oral Health, we provide education, training, and advocacy for pediatricians, other health professionals, and families.


We partner in Maine with the Children's Oral Health Network of Maine and From the First Tooth.

From the First Tooth:

Maine’s From the First Tooth (FTFT) is an initiative funded by the Children's Oral Health Network of Maine (COHN). FTFT aims to improve the oral health of Maine’s children from the eruption of a child’s first tooth through the age of five by implementing an evidence-based preventive oral health approach in the medical home. Oral health is a part of overall health, so it is important for medical providers to play a key role in preventing childhood caries. FTFT encourages pediatricians and family medicine providers to incorporate the following steps into well-child visits:

  • Oral health risk assessment
  • Fluoride varnish application to help prevent childhood caries*
  • Parent/caregiver education
  • Referrals to dental homes for routine or more immediate care as needed

*Research shows that children who receive at least four fluoride applications before age four have lower rates of tooth decay

2021 MPHA Conference Poster

2020 Maine COHN data brief

Order Materials from FTFT

Periodicity of Oral Health Prevention in Primary Care

Presentation: Managing and Preventing Oral Health Emergencies during the Pandemic

This webinar featured a case study by a pediatrician, two dentists sharing resources and strategies for dealing with dental emergencies and tips for early intervention, another community based pediatrician discussing prevention in the well child visit and an overview of upcoming policy/legislation featuring a Maine Representative.

Tools for Talking to Clients

Fluoride Remains a Powerful Tool to Prevent Tooth Decay:

AAP December 2020 Release

AAP New Fluoridation Page

Fluoride Varnish Suppliers

The AAP recommends that pediatricians:

  • Perform oral health risk assessments on all children at every routine well-child visit beginning at 6 months of age.
  • Recommend use of fluoridated toothpaste starting at eruption of the first tooth. A smear or grain of rice sized amount is recommended for children younger than 3 years, and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is appropriate for most children starting at 3 years of age.
  • Apply fluoride varnish according to the recommended periodicity schedule. Fluoride varnish is a proven tool in early childhood caries prevention.
  • Know how to determine the concentration of fluoride in a child’s primary drinking water and determine the need for systemic supplements.
  • Advocate for water fluoridation in the local community.
  • Understand indications for silver diamine fluoride and be able to recognize the clinical appearance of teeth treated with silver diamine fluoride, which is a minimally invasive, low-cost liquid solution that is painted on cavity lesions.

Other Resources:

AAP Oral Health: The Section on Oral Health on the AAP website for pediatric providers includes tools to help incorporate oral health into practice and links to education, training, and advocacy. Resources include the Oral Health Risk Assessment tool (English and Spanish), state Medicaid reimbursement table, and information for families can all be found here.

AAP Oral Health Education and Training Resources

AAP Oral Health Practice Tools

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: Parent information on pediatric dentistry

Asset Mapping: This is a strategy for utilizing the strengths and resources of a community to uncover solutions to local health needs.

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors Fact Sheets:

Brush, Book, Bed Implementation Guide: This guide is made up of resources and tools on oral health, early literacy, and sleep for pediatricians, dentists, and other health care providers. It addresses children from 6 months to 6 years with a bedtime program for parents that links early literacy, sleep, and toothbrushing.

Campaign for Dental Health: This website (English and Spanish) has information on community water fluoridation for parents, health care providers, and the general public. The purpose of the site is to offer evidence-based information and resources in an easy-to-read, informative manner.

Health Hackathons: Hackathons are an opportunity for group brainstorming and pitching new ideas.

Healthy Eating Resources: Screening for Beverage Consumption in Early Childhood Using Electronic Health Records: Implementation Toolkit for Health Care Systems: The primary goal of this toolkit is to provide health care systems and providers with tools and resources to effectively incorporate and implement a beverage screener within the electronic health record system. The toolkit includes:

  • An overview of healthy beverage recommendations for young children
  • Guidance for providers to implement healthy beverage recommendations
  • Sample language, job aids, and educational resources for providers

Oral Health Prevention Primer: This tool is designed to help pediatricians and others address oral health in practice, understand the roles of oral health allies, and learn how to collaborate and advocate to achieve optimal oral health for their communities. (An accompanying PowerPoint presentation is available upon request.) The OHPP expands on the information on the Section on Oral Health site with links to material on teaching other providers about oral health, collaboration in communities, innovative medical-dental integration models, and quality improvement.

Oral Health Progress and Equity Network: The Oral Health Progress and Equity Network (OPEN) is a community of oral health stakeholders around the country working to improve oral health equity through a variety of methods. OPEN creates original resources on a number of topics, from advocating for a Medicare dental benefit to improving oral health data collection and surveillance, all through an equity lens.

Payment for Oral Health Services

Preventive Oral Health Services Video Series

Project ECHO: Project adapting ECHO telementoring program for oral health equity. Contact: Hollis Russinof

Protect Tiny Teeth: This toolkit has resources to help pediatricians and OBGYNs integrate oral health care into their practice.

Smiles for Life: This national oral Health curriculum consists of eight 60-minute modules covering core areas of oral health relevant to health professionals. It is a widely-respected educational tool for non-dental professionals.


Care Quest Institute for Oral Health

Dental Trade Alliance