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Head Start Oral Health

The goal of Head Start is to help every child succeed in school. Head Start recognizes the connection between children’s oral health and their overall wellness. When children’s oral health suffers, so does their ability to learn. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that tooth decay (dental caries) affects more children in the United States than any other chronic infectious disease.

At Head Start children learn about the importance of oral health care and healthy nutrition, and brushing teeth is part of the health curriculum that is built into children’s daily routines. Families receive information about the importance of good oral health habits including regular dental visits. To learn more about oral health, visit the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center at http://www.mchoralhealth.org/.

Read about the Head Start Dental Home Initiative to learn about how a network of dentists in each state are partnering with Head Start staff to help Head Start families find a dentist for their children. Go to: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/health/Health/oral%20health/oral%20health%20program%20staff/headstartdental.htm