State dental directors issue guidelines for schools, kids

The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) has issued new guidelines for school-based programs and preventing early childhood caries.

The two best-practice reports describe public health strategies based on "research, expert opinion, field lessons, and theoretical rationale."

"Improving Children's Oral Health Through Coordinated School Health Programs" describes guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for school-based health programs in general, then explains how oral health can fit in. It also provides examples of successful programs and links to other resources.

"Prevention and Control of Early Childhood Tooth Decay" describes the disease process and the main methods of prevention and treatment, then outlines public health measures such as developing a state early childhood oral health task force, conducting surveys of oral health, and educating the public and other institutions about oral health. It also lists resources from other organizations.

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