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Pine Hill Health Center

Program Type: Local Effort - Programs and/or activities that have not been evaluated but are identified by local programs as producing positive results.

More than 180 dental exams of children between 3 and 13 were done in October of 2002. Dental disease was recorded by using the standardized World Health Organization’s method. The exam format was modified to provide information about the presence of intact sealant and the need for immediate referral of the child for urgent dental care. Initial exams showed that most of the children at age 3 who entered the Headstart program with fairly good dental health. Majority of the kids had only one or two small lesions, while 54% had no tooth decay. By the second year of Headstart children had active tooth decay. Up to 16.3% form 4.9% the year before. Using this data, a decision was made to use a 0.2% fluoride rinse program.

Dental staff personnel were trained in the use of fluoride varnish, foam and rinse. The dental assistant provided supervision for the Headstart Program. The 0.2% rinse was used twice a week for 5 minutes or as long as the kids could tolerate the rinse with out swallowing it. To get the community involved the dental staff provided presentations to community groups. The school staff was trained to provide the fluoride treatments and soon they were able to assume the job.

Follow up exams on 241 children one year later were impressive. Exams showed the percentage of children with dental decay was reduced from 63% to 37%. Where decay did exist it was not to the extent that it had once been. It decreased from 4.44 surfaces to 1.34 surfaces per child. Over the first nine months of 2003 only five stainless steel crowns were placed on primary teeth as compared to 42 during the same period in the past year. Over the summer the Headstart program planned to encourage use of the fluoride. Caregivers came to the school to pick up the rinse; unless there were difficulties getting there bus drives and aides delivered the rinse to homes. Eighty percent of the children were disease free in September when they returned to school.

Age Group(s):
Toddlers, Children

Site Type(s):
Community, School

Health Indicator(s):
Oral Health

Service Area:


Name: Frank J. Carberry, D.D.S.; Bill Cloud, D.D.S.; Carolyn Finster, M.S.H.A.
Site or Location Name: Pine Heill Health Center

Pine Hill, NM