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:

  • Evaluation and diagnosis of oral disease
  • Evaluation of growth and development
  • Enhanced preventive services including:
    • Fluoride varnish
    • Cleanings/exam
    • Anticipatory guidance
    • Sealants
    • Interceptive orthodontia
  • Dental trauma management
  • Comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis of oral disease
Christoph Hähnel/

Communities with Limited Dental Access

In many communities, those with no insurance or insured through Medicaid have limited or no access to dental care.
If limited dental access, the primary care clinician may need to:

  • Stratify the risk of the child.
  • Strive to assist children at moderate or high risk or with active disease in accessing the dental system in a timely manner.
  • Apply fluoride varnish to the teeth of children at moderate or high risk of caries in the medical office.
  • Follow low-risk children in the medical office:
    • Ensure appropriate anticipatory guidance is given.
    • Assess need for systemic fluoride supplementation and prescribe appropriately.
    • 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.

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Policy on the Dental Home. Revised 2012. Reference Manual 35 (6): 24-25.