Healthy Child Care Colorado has been a proud advocate for children’s oral health throughout the state for many years. We know that good oral health practices do more than ensure a beautiful smile. Children with cavities can have tooth pain which can result in challenges with paying attention, making friends, and behavior. It is important that everyone understands that tooth decay is a preventable disease. Early childhood professionals can educate and influence the families and children they serve to promote the practice of healthy oral health habits.
To assist with this important work, we have created “Colorado’s Oral Health Self-Assessment and Action Plan”. This tool is designed to be used in any early childhood setting to evaluate and improve oral health practices. The areas of focus in the self-assessment tool are:
- Commitment to Oral Health
- Education and Training
- Environment and Learning Activities
- Communication and Resources
Each focus area details best practices, policies, and the requirements needed to be considered Oral Health Friendly or Oral Health Advocates. After the self-assessment has been completed, the program can develop an action plan and set goals to improve their oral health practices.
This self-assessment and action plan can be used to earn points in the updated Colorado Shines Quality Rating and Improvement System for indicator 3.3. The points can be earned as follows:
- Complete the Oral Health Self-Assessment (1 point)
- Develop an action plan from the self-assessment (1 point)
- Demonstrate progress in at least one goal from the self-assessment (2 points)