Suggestions for State Policymakers Regarding Early Childhood Tooth Decay Reduction


State policy makers are being advised to focus on PREVENTION and MANAGEMENT of ECC, rather than primarily on treatment.

It is suggested that they:

· Make certain that fluoride varnish policies are being followed.  If they are not, learn why and then encourage/reinforce this important preventive practice

· Support pediatricians, family physicians, and oral care providers to utilize oral health risk assessments.  This is reimbursable in many states with the proper billing code.  Medical providers should refer high risk children to a dental provider.

· Promote development and implementation of individual care plans for children with high ECC risk.

· Educate and engage parents utilizing nonclinical service providers for this task as appropriate


More detail regarding these suggestions are found in a Brief issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Oral Health Initiative at this link:

Reducing Early Childhood Tooth Decay: Leading Steps for State Policymakers

Fluoride varnish application