Oral Health

Working Together to Improve the Oral Health of Children in IL

Maintaining a healthy mouth and teeth is an important component of the overall health and wellbeing of children. At the Illinois Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics, we seek to provide updated resources, training, and tools to empower our state’s providers to help all families in Illinois prioritize oral health.

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Bright Smiles from Birth Program

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Bright Smiles from Birth II Quality Improvement Project

Building Pediatric Care Practices’ Capacity to Improve Oral Health for Children

In partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Section on Oral Health, the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (ICAAP) is recruiting primary health care providers to join a 4-month learning collaborative and quality improvement project. The goal of this project is to build pediatric primary care practices’ capacity to improve oral health outcomes for children. American Board of Pediatrics Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 4 credit is available through this project.

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Quality Improvement (QI) Component

Practices must provide primary care to patients 0-5 years in Illinois, complete monthly de-identified retrospective chart reviews, and submit monthly PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) worksheets. Participants will utilize the electronic health record or otherwise integrate the AAP Oral Health Risk Assessment (OHRA) tool into practice.

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Oral Health QI Program Structure

Practices will engage in monthly educational sessions on successful strategies for medical-dental integration and learn to assess oral health. Sessions will cover topics such as oral health disparities and identifying high risk patients, the role of the pediatrician in oral health, and connecting with school-based health services.

Sessions for this project will be held on select
Fridays at 8am CST from March 15 to June 21, 2024. 

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QI Program Benefits

  • Enhance pediatric primary care to improve oral health outcomes for children
  • Learn successful strategies for medical-dental integration
  • Network and problem solve with others
  • The opportunity to earn MOC Part 4 credit and CME credits
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Who Should Participate 

Practices will engage in monthly educational sessions on successful strategies for medical-dental integration and learn to assess oral health. Sessions will cover topics such as oral health disparities and identifying high risk patients, the role of the pediatrician in oral health, and connecting with school-based health services.

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Resources for Providers

Resources for Providers

Learn more about our flagship oral health program, Bright Smiles from Birth II (BSFB) and explore all our resources below:

Resources for Providers
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Bright Smiles From Birth II – Web-Based Training

Bright Smiles from Birth II (BSFB) is an oral health education program for primary care providers that provides education on the prevention of early childhood caries, tools and resources for integrating oral health into well child visits and patient-facing materials. BSFB II includes a one hour training for physicians and pediatric health care providers.

The training provides information on:

  • The pathogenesis of early childhood caries
  • Anticipatory guidance for families
  • Performing oral health assessments
  • Application of fluoride varnish
Illinois State Medical Society

The Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics is accredited by the   Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics designates each live webinar for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses and Nurse Practitioners can submit Certificates of Attendance to their accrediting board to claim credit for participation in the live webinars.

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Fluoride Varnish Application – In-Person Training

Gain the practical skills and confidence to incorporate oral health into routine child health visits with an in-person training at your clinic! This is ideal for residency and fellowship groups or staff who would like to be trained as a group.

To request a training, please fill out the form linked below and ICAAP staff will contact you to get something scheduled.

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National Children’s Dental Health Month Toolkit & Outreach Materials

National Children’s Dental Health Month is recognized every year in February. Any time of year is a good time to share these ready-to-go social media messages, images, and short videos to help promote oral health. Share on your various platforms all year long!

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Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries

The application of fluoride varnish during an oral screening is of benefit to children, especially those with limited access to dental care. Explore the resources below for more information.

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AAP Policy Statements on Oral Health

Explore policy statements that review the 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. Maintaining and Improving the Oral Health of Young Children covers the topics including preventative strategies, collaboration with dental providers, and social determinants of children’s oral health.

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Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

The AAP is pleased to share a report on Pediatricians and Pediatric Oral Health: Knowledge and Attitudes about Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) in Pediatric Practice, describing the results of a recent survey and key informant interviews with AAP members. This work was funded by the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health to identify current preventive oral health practices in the pediatric medical home, the likelihood to integrate SDF, and the supports needed to implement this practice change.

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AAP Oral Health Risk Assessment Tool

Preview, download, print, and implement this comprehensive oral health risk assessment tool developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics during health supervision visits. This tool has been subsequentially reviewed and endorsed by the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health.

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Caries Risk Assessment Tools

Explore these Caries Risk Assessment Tools for guidance in determining a child's overall risk for developing early childhood caries.

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Key Information on Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay. AAP Policy recommends pediatricians screen for and discuss the adequacy of patients' fluoride intake as part of routine health maintenance exams and oral health risk assessment. Assessment should encompass a patient's cumulative fluoride intake from all available sources, and direct any necessary preventive education discussions.

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Resources to Find a Dental Home

Resources listed to help patients / families find a dental home.

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AAP Payment for Oral Health Services Resource

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services procedure code for fluoride varnish is D1206 for primary care providers and the reimbursement is $26 per application up to three times a year on children under 36 months.

For private insurances, the procedure code for fluoride varnish is 99188 and reimbursement is between $11 to $18 per application.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services procedure code for silver diamine fluoride application is D1354 and the reimbursement is $14.85 per tooth.

Resources for Families

Resources for Families

Building strong oral hygiene habits is an important part of the growth, health and development of all children. Explore these oral health resources to learn new ways to help your whole family take care of their teeth!

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Bright and Healthy Smiles

Learn more about how healthy smiles begin at birth! Remember, it’s never too early to start taking care of your baby’s teeth.

Sanas comienzan al nacer! Nunca es muy pronto para comenzar a cuidar los dientes del bebé.

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Information on Visiting the Dentist

It can be helpful for you and your child to prepare for your visit to the dentist.

Puede ser útil para usted y su hijo prepararse para su visita al dentista.

ORal Health Resources for Families
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Brushing Your Child’s Teeth

Proper teeth brushing can help protect your child from developing cavities and tooth decay. Learn more about when you should start brushing your child’s teeth!

El cepillado correcto de los dientes puede contribuir a evitar que su hijo desarrolle caries y deterioro dental

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After Fluoride Varnish

Information about what your child can eat and when your child can brush their teeth after fluoride varnish is applied.

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Finding the Right Dentist for Your Family

Finding a dentist or dental home can help you in caring for your child's teeth and in keeping them healthy. Dental homes can provide you with a referral to dental specialists when needed too.

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What is Fluoride?

Learn why fluoride is an important piece of oral health for children.

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