Physician Resources

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Bright Smiles From Birth

Physician Resources |  Family Resources

Bright Smiles from Birth is offered as an online training for physicians and pediatric health care providers, and includes a comprehensive list of pediatric oral health resources.

Bright Smiles from Birth Training

The Illinois Chapter provides a one hour web-based training on oral health for children under three. The training provides information on the pathogenesis of early childhood caries,  anticipatory guidance for families,  performing oral health assessments and application of fluoride varnish.  Providers who complete this program are eligible to receive a reimbursement of $26 per application on children under 36 months.

Web-based Trainings

Providers can access the Bright Smiles from Birth training online at  Primary care providers in Illinois who complete the training will be eligible to receive Medicaid reimbursement for application of fluoride varnish on children under three.

Bright Smiles from Birth Tools For Your Practice

The following resources are intended to support Illinois pediatricians’ efforts to make preventative oral health a part of their practice.  For educational handouts for families, visit  the Family Resources page.

Bright Smiles from Birth Fluoride Varnish Video

This video provides a real-world example of how to apply fluoride varnish on children. [...more]

Oral Health Screening Form

The Oral Health Screening Checklist is a tool to assist providers during oral health screenings.  The checklist includes a visual representation of a child’s dentition (and associated eruption and exfoliation dates), a checklist for pre-existing factors, an oral health questionnaire, procedure questionnaire, and a signature field for provider verification.  [...more]

Bright Smiles from Birth Fluoride Varnish Consent Form

Bright Smiles from Birth made available this consent form for application of fluoride varnish to a child’s teeth as part of the Fluoride Varnish Program.  [...more]

Fluoride Varnish Supplies Ordering Information

Bright Smiles from Birth made available an informational sheet for pediatric health care providers about supplies needed to conduct oral health screenings and fluoride varnish applications.  The Screening and Fluoride Varnish Supplies information sheet includes a list of supplies needed, approximate costs of supplies, sources from which varnish and supplies can be ordered, and a contact for water testing.  [...more]

Fluoride Varnish Application Protocol

Fluoride varnish is a thin coating of resin that is applied to the tooth surface to protect it from decay. According to the FDA, fluoride varnish falls under the category of drugs and devices that presents minimal risk and is subject to the lowest level of regulation.

The purpose of applying fluoride varnish is to retard, arrest, and reverse the process of cavity formation.  [...more]

Post Fluoride Varnish Instructions for Families

Bright Smiles from Birth made available a Post-Fluoride Application Information Sheet for providers to give to parents immediately after applying fluoride varnish.  This information sheet can be copied, cut in half, and distributed to parents and care-givers.  [...more]

AAP Policy Statement: Preventive Oral Health Intervention for Pediatricians

This policy is a compilation of current concepts and scientific evidence required to understand and implement practice-based preventive oral health programs designed to improve oral health outcomes for all children and especially children at significant risk of dental decay. In addition, it reviews cariology and caries risk assessment and defines, through available evidence, appropriate recommendations for preventive oral health intervention by primary care pediatric practitioners. [...more]


Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay.  Here are resources that include fluoride treatment/prevention of caries and water fluoridation:

Fluoride: Water and Supplements

AAP Policy recommends pediatricians should screen for and discuss the adequacy of patients’ fluoride
intake as part of routine health maintenance exams and oral health risk assessment1. Assessment
should encompass a patient’s cumulative fluoride intake from all available sources, and direct any
necessary preventive education discussions.  [...more]

Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries from the CDC

“The recommendations in this report guide dental and other health-care providers, public health officials, policy makers, and the public in the use of fluoride to achieve maximum protection against dental caries while using resources efficiently and reducing the likelihood of enamel fluorosis. The recommendations address public health and professional practice, self-care, consumer product industries and health agencies, and further research. Adoption of these recommendations could further reduce dental caries in the United States and save public and private resources.”  [...more]

My Water’s Fluoride from the CDC

“My Water’s Fluoride allows consumers in currently participating states to learn the fluoridation status of their water system.”

“The best source of information on fluoride levels in your water system is your local water utility. All water utilities must provide their consumers with a Consumer Confidence Report that provides information on a system’s water quality, including its fluoridation level. The state drinking water administrator or state oral health program also should be able to help you identify the fluoride level of your drinking water.”  [...more]

Caries Risk Assessments

Caries Risk Assessment Tools (CAT) assist in determining a child’s overall risk for developing early childhood caries. Below are links to versions of the CAT.

Bright Smiles from Birth Caries Risk Assessment Tool

Bright Smiles from Birth made available this caries risk assessment table as a resource to providers.  [...more]

Oral Health Risk Assessment Tool from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has developed this tool to aid in the implementation of oral health risk assessment during health supervision visits. [ ...more]

Caries Risk Assessment from the American Dental Association (ADA)

Developed under the sponsorship of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs and the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, clinical recommendations are useful tools that can be used by practitioners in conjunction with their clinical judgement and their patients’ needs and preferences to make evidence-based treatment decisions. [...more]

Caries Risk Assessment from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)

“The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes that caries-risk assessment is an essential element of contemporary clinical care for infants, children, and adolescents.  This policy is intended to educate healthcare providers and other interested parties on the assessment of caries risk in contemporary pediatric dentistry”  [...more]

Coding and Billing for Fluoride Varnish

Bright Smiles from birth provides resources explaining how to code and bill fluoride varnish applications.

Changes in Billing for Fluoride Varnish

Effective September 1, 2010, the HFS procedure code for fluoride varnish has been changed to D1206. The former code will be active until December 31, 2010. After that time, claims using D1203 will be rejected. Please update your billing systems accordingly.   [...more]

Bright Smiles From Birth Coding and Billing Fact Sheet

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services offers primary care providers reimbursement for applying fluoride varnish on children under 36 months. Providers must be trained by the Bright Smiles from Birth program and provide their medicaid license number for enrollment in the program.  Reimbursement is $26 per application up to three times of year on children under 36 months.  [...more]

General Oral Health Information

The following resources cover oral health basics with regards to early childhood oral development, treatment guidelines, and information for parents.

Oral Health Pearls

Oral Health Pearls is a series of articles published in the Illinois Pediatrician to provide more oral health information for primary care givers.  [...more]

Tooth Eruption Chart (Odontogram)

Bright Smiles From Birth made available this tooth eruption chart with respective tooth labels, expected eruption time, and tooth schedule for primary teeth.  The chart also includes tooth labels and expected eruption time for permanent teeth as well.  [...more]

Oral Health Guidance from Birth to 36 months

Bright Smiles from Birth made available the Oral Health Well-Visit Checklist for pediatric health care providers.  The checklist provides guidance for  pediatric oral health treatment based upon categories that include age, oral assessment practice steps, anticipatory guidance, intervention steps, and referral/follow-up information. [...more]

Bright Future Oral Health Guidelines

Bright Futures in Practice: Oral Health”Pocket Guide is designed to help health professionals implement specific oral health guidelines during pregnancy and post-partum, infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. It addresses risk assessment for dental caries, periodontal disease, malocclusion, and injury. [...more]

Parent Handouts

Pediatric health care provider seeking information in the form of hand-outs for parents can look at the family resources of the Bright Smiles from Birth site. [...more]


For more information about Physician Resources or Bright Smiles from Birth, please contact:

Dru O’Rourke
Manager, Prevention Programs
1400 W. Hubbard
Chicago, IL 60642
312/733-1026, ext 207
Fax: 312/733-1791

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