Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries
Pregnancy and Oral Health/OB Collaborative
Emerging research indicates a strong correlation between periodontal infection and adverse pregnancy outcomes (such as pre-term delivery and low birth weight) and an estimated 62% of women report not having a dental visit during their most recent pregnancy. Recognizing the need to provide oral health education and resources to women at high-risk for periodontal infection, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) developed a collaborative program with the
OB Department and Nutrition Services at Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers, a federally qualified community health center.
The collaborative utilizes the “Train-the-Trainer” model where OB staff are trained on the importance of addressing oral health during pregnancy. Following the training, OB staff provide education to all pregnant women who receive pre-natal care. Utilizing a “Train-the-Trainer” model enables the program to reach a much larger population of pregnant women than what could be achieved through direct patient education by NJ Children’s Oral Health Program staff. The training session focuses on the importance of preventive oral hygiene practices during pregnancy, prevention of early childhood caries, and the importance of dental care during pregnancy. During the training session, Children’s Oral Health Program staff provide oral health education resources for patients and staff and personal care oral health supplies for distribution to patients.
Oral health resources distributed to staff include the following:
Oral health resources for staff distribution to clients include the following:
Costs for supplies are less than $1.50 per patient. Other program expenses include staff time for training and preparation of resources.
OB Coordinators at participating clinics collect data on a quarterly basis on the number of pregnant women that receive oral health and hygiene education. Data indicate that 912 women in FY2010 and 1,293 women in FY2011 received oral health education and resources.
Due to the success of the Collaborative, the Children’s Oral Health Program replicated the initiative at a second federally qualified community health center located in central New Jersey. In FY2012, plans include further expansion into additional FQHCs in other parts of the State.
Program evaluation activities include data collection on the actual number of women that received dental care during their pregnancy.
Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:
Beverly Kupiec-Sce, Ph.D., R.N.