Establish a Dental Home

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend establishment of a dental home by the first birthday. Dentists will provide:

  • Enhanced preventive services
  • Comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis of oral disease
  • Evaluation of growth and development
  • Counseling on oral habits and interceptive orthodontic treatment as needed
  • Fluoride varnish and cleanings
  • Dental x-rays when indicated
  • Sealants to molars as child ages
  • Dental trauma management

Communities with Limited Dental Access

In many communities, those who lack insurance or those on Medicaid have limited or no access to dental care. If limited dental access, primary care clinician may need to:

  • Stratify the risk of the child.
  • Apply fluoride varnish to the teeth of children at moderate or high risk of caries in the medical office.
  • Assess need for systemic fluoride supplementation and prescribe appropriately.
  • Assist children at moderate or high risk with active disease in accessing the dental system in a timely manner.
  • Follow low risk children in the medical office:
    • Ensure appropriate anticipatory guidance is given.
    • Regularly assess oral health and provide dental referral when necessary and no later than age three years.


AAP Section on Pediatric Dentistry. Preventive Oral health Intervention for Pediatricians. Pediatrics 2008;122:1387-1394.

Savage MF LJ, Vann WF. Does Age Matter? Examination of the first preventive dental visit. Pediatric Dentistry 2003;25(2):181.

Policy on the dental home. In: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Oral health policies. Pediatr Dent 2002;24(7 suppl):10-42.