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Oral Health Toolkit Developed to Reduce Caries in Hawaiian Children
According to data from the Hawai’i State Department of Health, low-income Hawaiian children ages 3 to 5 have the highest rate of dental caries in the United States. Preschool-age children are also more likely to see a medical provider than a dentist. As such, a collaborative project between the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health Family Health Services Division and the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa has led to the creation of an oral health toolkit designed to support nurses, physicians, and healthcare students in the integration of oral health into routine medical care. Deborah J. Mattheus, PhD, APRN-Rx, CPNP, a professor in the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing, created the kit, which includes education on how to apply fluoride varnish, images of early childhood caries, a template to use in patient charting, and information about fluoride varnish for families. The toolkit has seen widespread use and has been distributed across the US. Click here to read more.