Prevention and Promotion of Oral Health for Children
Repository Posting Date2012-01-11T10:53:52Z
Author(s)Huff, Marlene; Leahy, Peter; Biordi, Diana; Thacker, Sherrey; Norris, Marianne; DiMarco, Marguerite
Author DetailsMarlene Huff, PhD, MSN, RN; Peter Leahy PhD; Diana Biordi PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN; Sherrey Thacker MS, RN; Marianne Norris MSN, CPNP; Marguerite DiMarco PhD, MSN, CPNP
(41st Biennial Convention) Access to dental care is a national problem. Nurses and Dietitians have a responsibility to empower mothers and their children to maintain good oral health. To address this need, a grant from The Kellogg Foundation provided money to focus on lower-income WIC children, a segment of the population particularly prone to dental decay. Children under the age of 5, received fluoride varnish to their teeth and education about nutrition and care of their teeth and mouth. Design: This pilot study used a descriptive research design to answer the research questions: 1) What is the present condition of teeth in children 0-5 who are enrolled in a WIC program? 2) What dietary practices are being used that promote development of cavity formation? 3) How receptive are mothers and children to fluoride varnish? Methodology: A purposive sample of mothers and children who enrolled in a WIC clinic participated in the study. Fluoride varnish was applied to the child's teeth following a brief description of the benefits of the varnish. Mothers and children were taught appropriate methods of cavity prevention. Results: Oral assessments were completed for 632 children, 119 (18.8%) of those children had visible lesions on their teeth or had discolored teeth; 128 (20.3%) drank sugary juices. Only 17% of the children ate vegetables or fruits at least once a day. The process of educating mothers and children about oral health and hygiene, and application of fluoride varnish to teeth in an interdisciplinary collaborative relationship with WIC demonstrates promise for the implementation of similar programs to promote good oral health.