In this course residents learn the fundamental concepts of health promotion and disease prevention. Emphasis is on assessment, health promotion, and risk reduction/ prevention related to oral health. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Association of Pediatrics currently recommend that children receive their first dental evaluation within the first year of life. In general, there is an increasing trend toward providing dental care to children before the age of three. The reasons for early dental intervention with pregnant women, infants and parents are to determine the risk status based on the information from the parents and to perform a screening risk assessment and examination of infants’ mouths. This early care provides an opportunity to educate and inform parents about their children’s oral health. Anticipatory guidance/counseling for children’s dental health is an important part of preventive care, and may be the most effective way to prevent problems (such as early childhood caries (ECC)) that traditional infectious-disease models have failed to address.
In addition to didactic session, under the leadership of Dr. Ramos-Gomez the pediatric dental residents participate in teaching and mentoring pre-doctoral students as a part of the Infant Oral Care Program (IOCP), a 10 week course in which students learn to identify white spot lesions, understand social determinants of health and how to assist families in overcoming barriers, understand the role public health plays in pediatric dentistry, and appreciate the ethical responsibility of dental professionals for the oral health of the whole community.
Upon successful completion of this course, residents will be prepared to: