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There is no cost to attend, and all interested individuals are invited to participate. Continuing education credit will be available.

Attend at DMU or online.





Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children, five times more common than asthma. Despite being highly preventable, the American Academy for Pediatrics states that nearly 1 in 4 children ages 2-5 experience dental cavities. Dental treatment at this young age often requires outpatient surgery to treat effectively. Left untreated, children with active tooth decay may experience mouth pain, difficulty learning and concentrating, impaired eating, and delayed speech development.

Cavity Free Iowa is a medical-dental initiative, launched in 2017, focused on early oral health care and prevention of early childhood caries. Recognizing that young children often see their primary care provider on a routine basis for well-child visits, the goal of Cavity Free Iowa is to increase the number of children ages 0-35 months receiving preventive oral health services and dental referrals. Dental hygienists, serving as regional I-Smile Coordinators, are providing onsite oral health training for medical clinic staff to do oral screenings, risk assessments, fluoride varnish applications, and referrals to local dentists.



1. Recognize that poor oral health is related to many systemic diseases.

2. Differante between equal and equitable care.

3. Recognize the difficulty that many face in obtaining an oral health provider.

4. Act upon their role in the prevention of oral health diseases.
a. Examine each mouth.
b. Provide education on healthy habits.
c. Apply Fluoride varnish when appropriate.
d. Discuss social determinants of health and structural barriers to adherence to better health plans.
e. Use cultural humility in discussing oral and overall health.



J. Michael Metts, DO, FAAP
Pediatrician, MercyOne

Maren Lenhart, MPH
Community Impact Analyst, Delta Dental of Iowa

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