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Physician Resources

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 and integrating oral health into well child visits.

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

The training provides information on:

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

Primary care providers in Illinois can receive $26 reimbursement from Medicaid for the application of fluoride varnish on children under 36 months.  Providers will be able to access BSFB II training starting in spring 2023.

Tools for your practice

The following resources are intended to support Illinois pediatricians' efforts to make preventative oral health a part of their practice.

AAP Policy Statements on Oral Health

These policy statements review 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.

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.


Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay. 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 assessment. Assessment should encompass a patient's cumulative fluoride intake from all available sources, and direct any necessary preventive education discussions.

Fluoride Varnish 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.

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.

Coding and Billing Fluoride Varnish Applications

Effective September 1, 2010, the HFS procedure code for fluoride varnish is D1206. 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.

Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries

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.

Caries Risk Assessment

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.

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

Oral Health Risk Assessment Tool English

Oral Health Risk Assessment Tool Spanish


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.

Caries Risk Assessment Form (Age > 6)

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.

Caries-Risk Assessment and Management for Infants, Children, and Adolescents

Resources for Families

Bright and Healthy Smiles

Smiles begin at birth! It's never too early to start taking care of baby's teeth.

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

Brushing Your Child's Teeth

Proper teeth brushing can help protect your child from developing cavities and tooth decay.

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

Information on Visiting the Dentist

Your child should see the dentist 6 months after they get their first tooth or by their first birthday.

Su hijo debe ver al dentista 6 meses después de la salida de su primer diente o antes de su primer cumpleaños.

Finding a Dental Home

Dental homes help prevent early childhood caries. A dental home should provide comprehensive oral health care, assessments for oral disease and conditions, individualized preventive dental health programs, dental education for families on the proper care of teeth, and referrals to dental specialists when needed.

What is Fluoride Varnish?

Fluoride is a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay.

El flúor es una manera segura y eficaz para prevenir la caries dental.

Post-Fluoride Varnish

Helpful information about what your child can eat, when your child can brush their teeth, and more.

Información sobre lo que su hijo puede comer, cuándo puede cepillarse los dientes y más.