NH Oral Health Coalition Initiates Trainings for NH - From the First Tooth

By Gail Brown, Director, NHOHC

OHC Photo March 2016 Newsletter
With the support and effort of many NH oral health leaders, the Coalition, working with the No. Country Health Consortium has implemented NH - From the First Tooth, a training program designed to provide the clinical and administrative training needed by pediatric and family physician offices to have medical providers provide in-office oral health assessment, anticipatory guidance, fluoride varnish application, and dental referral.

Using the national oral health curriculum of “Smiles for Life,” the NH program provides for a trained dental hygienist and an administrative partner to teach the curriculum on-site in the medical office.  Funding is provided by the DentaQuest Foundation through a grant to Hugh Silk, M.D., a family physician champion of oral health services in the medical setting from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.  Silk notes that "Pediatric patients see their physician about a dozen times before they ever see a dentist," making the medical setting a natural setting for the delivery of oral health risk assessment and preventive intervention. 

With recent in-state changes in both public and private reimbursement for fluoride varnish in the medical setting, it is the right time for NH to do training and move forward.  Initial trainings in Franklin, Rochester and Manchester were well-attended and those practices intend to begin service shortly.    

In addition to the support from Dr. Silk, NH physicians Steve Chapman, DHMC, and Kelly White are appointed as Community Oral Health Advocates by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  They are strong supporters of this medically-based opportunity for early intervention.  Dr. Chapman provided a recent, hands on training at a medical meeting at the Mt. Washington Resort.  For more information on the application of fluoride varnish in the medical setting:  contact the NH Oral Health Coalition at info@nhoralhealth.org or 603-415-5550.   On-line, NH-specific information is available at: http://www.fromthefirsttooth.org/healthcare-providers/state-pages/new-hampshire/

Photo:  NH dental hygienists Ruth Doane and Annette Cole, with NHOHC MPH intern, Rob Sheikhabdou, prepare with Maine hygienist Susan Cote for the first NH-From the First Tooth training session in Franklin

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