UH developed oral health tool kit helps keiki in Hawaii and beyond

A health care worker who meets a parent and child during a visit to a healthy child discusses oral health.

Oral health is an integral part of overall health, and public impact research has shown that too many people are involved Hawaii they are unable to access the necessary oral health care. A report of the Hawaii The state Department of Health, released in 2022, found this out HawaiiLow-income preschool students have the highest prevalence of dental caries in the nation. The consequences of poor oral health affect the entire body, and many oral health conditions are preventable and can reduce costly emergency room visits.

A University of Hawaii at Mānoa associate professor of the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing (NAWSON) developed an Oral Health Toolkit to teach nurses, doctors and healthcare students how to effectively integrate oral health into their practice. This project was born from the collaboration between the Hawaii State Department of Health (HIDOH) Family Health Services Division e NAWSON.

Deborah Mattheus shot in the head
Debora Matteo

“Integrating oral health into pediatric primary care practice is a substantial and cost-effective way to reduce negative oral health outcomes and improve the overall health and quality of life of island residents,” he said. Debora Matteoproject leader e NAWSONis Professor of School Health. “As a practitioner April (professional nurse), I always see children in the clinic who have poor oral hygiene. We have a great opportunity to proactively take care of their teeth as part of their visit to the baby. This will prepare these children for good dental hygiene as they get older. ”

Mattheus, who is also the Hawaii Keiki: Healthy & Ready to Learn Senior Medical Practice Director and Dental Sealant Program Director, said young children are seen by primary care providers (pediatricians and nurses) more often than dentists, averaging 12 pediatric visits recommended for children in the first three years and annually between three and 21 years.

“Each primary care visit is an opportunity to assess oral health, provide oral health education, connect families to a dental home, and apply fluoride paint if appropriate,” he said.

Toolkit development and training

The project funded by HIDOH was titled Oral Health into Primary Care Practice: Oral Health Essential Services in a Well Child Visit and consisted of creating a training video and promotional toolkit and disseminating content to a national audience.

The toolkit includes: 1) a video and a handout on the steps to apply fluorine paint; 2) visual examples of early childhood caries (cavity); 3) model for medical records; and 4) fact sheet on family fluorine paints.

The video used local actors with personalized content for a Hawaii public. Content feedback was requested HIDOHcommunity partner, Hawaii Members of the Oral Health Coalition, Harvard University’s Center for the Integration of Primary Care and Oral Health, Uh teachers, dentists, doctors and nurses. Watch the video here.

In May 2022, Mattheus provided oral health assessment and fluoride paint application training to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students a NAWSON. Mattheus shared the toolkit with others Hawaii nursing / medicine programs with requests to schedule seminars starting in the fall semester 2022. It is working with these programs to integrate oral health into their curriculum.

National distribution

The video and toolkit were distributed to the American Academy of Pediatrics Hawaii Chapter, Hawaii Primary Care Association, National Association of Nurses and Pediatric Operators Hawaii Chapter, Hawaii American Association of Nurses, Hawaii Coalition for Oral Health e Hawaii Dental service.

The toolkit has also reached the continental WE and was distributed by the Academy of Pediatrics Section on Oral Health, Harvard University’s Center for Integration of Primary Care and Oral Health, Oral Health Progress and Equity Network, and Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice.

Mattheus was invited to present the keynote address at the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center Oral Health Learning Cafe webinar in November 2022.

For more information on the project or to request the video and toolkit, contact Mattheus at [email protected]

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