Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future Awards Grants to Positively Impact Oral Health of Young Children

Posted on December 5, 2016

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Canada-United States Chapter of the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future (ACFF) has awarded three interprofessional grants totaling $50,000.00 (USD) to fund projects that will be carried out in 2017 and have a positive impact on dental caries, an early form of tooth decay, which is reversible, for children aged 0-6.

The inaugural grant program aims to bring together groups outside of dentistry, such as pediatrics and primary care, to help underserved communities.  Made possible through funding from Colgate-Palmolive, the grants focus on specific populations including communities with high caries needs, populations living in remote areas with limited access to dental care, disadvantaged communities such as those with low incomes and other populations with specialized health care needs.

"The programs funded through this grant are outstanding examples of the interprofessional collaboration being implemented to address oral health," said Alyssa Hayes, BDent, MSc, FRCD(C), Assistant Professor, Dental Public Health, University of Saskatchewan College of Dentistry and Canada-US ACFF Chapter Co-Chair. "Only by working together can we improve the oral health of young children."

About the 2016 Winners

  • Promoting Oral Health in Primary Care: Closing the Dental Referral Loop (Children's Mercy Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo.) – This program aims to improve the process of dental referrals for children at highest risk. By expanding the role of a dedicated staff member who will help to shepherd identified children through the referral process and coordinate care between patients and providers. Ultimately, by February 2018, the organizers believe that 80% of children at absolute high risk for caries according to the AAP Oral Health Risk Assessment Tool will have a formal dental referral completed.

  • An Ontario Primary Health Care System to Support a Cavity-free Future (Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto and Niagara Region, Public Health, Toronto) – Through a participatory action research approach, this project aims to build readiness across dentistry, medicine, public health and government to make fluoride varnish (FV) routine primary care practice in Ontario. The project will engage key policy and practice leaders to understand their perspectives on the challenges of adopting FV in primary care. In collaboration with these stakeholders, the project will also develop the strategy that will be necessary to making FV application routing primary care practice in Ontario.

  • Online Parenting Forums: Drawing Implications for Caries Prevention from Parents' Perspectives of Childhood Decay and Dental Expertise (University of Calgary) – A research project that seeks to better understand online parenting forums in relation to early childhood caries (ECC). In-person sessions with parents recruited from online forums will focus on how parents use forums, their perceptions of trust and expertise online, and what supportive role health professionals might play on parenting forums. Findings from these sessions will then better inform the role of public health professionals in enhancing ECC prevention efforts.

"Disparities in dental caries experience and access to care exist all across North America," said Margherita Fontana, DDS, PhD, Professor, University of Michigan School of Dentistry and Canada-US ACFF Chapter Co-Chair. "We believe these programs will have a significant short and long-term impact in our understanding of how to reduce these disparities."

For those interested in finding resources on cavity prevention, more information can be found at www.AllianceforaCavityFreeFuture.org. Specific information about the Canada-US Chapter can be obtained by contacting Co-Chair Alyssa Hayes via email (alyssa.hayes@usask.ca) or phone (306-966-1407).

 

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