U.S. task force targets preschool caries prevention

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has posted for public comment its draft research plan on the prevention of dental caries in preschool-aged children (ages 0-5).

The draft plan is designed to determine what proportion of preschool-aged children in the U.S. have access to dental care, and what factors are associated with access and/or lack of access.

The draft plan is also intended to determine the following:

  • How effective is oral health screening and risk assessment by the primary care clinician in preventing dental caries and complications among children from birth to age 5 years?
  • How accurate is oral health screening by the primary care clinician in identifying children from birth to age 5 years who have dental caries and/or precaries lesions or are at increased risk for future dental caries?
  • What are the harms of oral health screening?
  • How effective is parental or caregiver/guardian oral health education by the primary care clinician for prevention of dental caries in children at average or increased risk?
  • How effective is referral by a primary care clinician to a dentist in preventing dental caries in children at average or increased risk?
  • How effective are preventive interventions in preventing dental caries in children at increased risk?
  • What are the harms of oral health interventions?

The draft plan is available for review and public comment from July 10 to August 7, 2012.

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