National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety
Dental Hygienist Liaison Project
Because of the importance of oral health during pregnancy and early childhood, in 2011 the National Center on Health, working in partnership with the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), created the Dental Hygienist Liaison (DHL) project. Under the DHL project, one dental hygienist from each state volunteers to help promote oral health for pregnant women and children enrolled in Head Start. The DHL project continues as part of the Office of Head Start currently funded through the National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety (NCHBHS). The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center is the project lead for NCHBHS oral health activities and works in partnership with ASTDD, which coordinates the Dental Hygienist Liaison Project.
Role of the Dental Hygienist Liaison
DHLs promote oral health in Head Start by:
- Providing a communication link between NCHBHS and Head Start agencies in their states
- Collaborating with state organizations such as oral health programs, Head Start collaboration offices, and Head Start Associations
- Providing oral health presentations at state conferences and meetings
- Offering strategies to improve access to oral health care for pregnant women and children enrolled in Head Start
- Working with oral health professionals to establish partnerships with local Head Start programs
- Sharing information about the importance of oral health and regular oral health visits, good nutrition and oral hygiene practices, and oral-injury-prevention strategies with Head Start program staff
- Serving on Head Start committees (e.g., Head Start health manager networks, Head Start health services advisory committees) and oral health advisory boards and coalitions to promote the oral health of Head Start participants
Information about DHL Project
- State DHL and Regional DHL Coordinators Roster
- Dental Hygienist Liaison Orientation
- Dental Hygienist Liaison Project Handout
- DHL At-A-Glance Activity Guide
- RDHLC Region I-X At-a-Glance Activity Guide
- RDHLC Region XI-XII At-a-Glance Activity Guide
Information about Head Start
- Early Head Start / Head Start Program Locator
- Head Start Performance Standards Related to Oral Health
- Program Information Reports - First time users see bottom of the page for instructions on how to gain access to reports.
- Understanding PIR Data
- EPSDT Dental Periodicity Schedules by State
- A Guide to the Dental Periodicity Schedule and Oral Exam
Oral Health Social Media Campaign
2021 Social Media Campaign for Head Start Parents and Caregivers: Features messages and graphics for use on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All of this content is accessible here http://bit.ly/HeadStartASTDD Visitors are encouraged to start by downloading the Social Media Toolkit, which contains all of the sample messages and instructions for using the videos/graphics that are stored on this web portal.
- Head Start Collaboration Offices by State - Head Start Collaboration Offices (HSCO) facilitate partnerships between Head Start agencies and other state entities that provide services to benefit low-income children and their families.
- Head Start Regional Health Specialists
- State Oral Health Programs - Governmental Oral Health Programs in each state are diverse in size, location in the bureaucracy, funding, staffing and focus. This page provides links to separate pages for each state.
- State Oral Health Coalitions
- National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety (NCHBHS) - NCHBHS is a consortium of partners that design evidence-based resources and deliver innovative training and technical assistance (TTA) to build the capacity of Head Start and other early childhood programs. The National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety (NCHBHS) is funded by the Office of Head Start, Administration for Children and Families.
- National Head Start Association (NHSA) - NHSA is a nonprofit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in life. Since 1974, NHSA has worked diligently for policy changes that ensure all at-risk children have access to the Head Start model of support for the whole child, the family and the community.
- Regional and State Head Start Associations
Approved Educational Materials
ECLKC is a central repository for materials for Head Start staff and others who work to support health and wellness for pregnant women and children enrolled in Head Start programs. The materials listed on the oral health page of the ECLKC website are approved for sharing with Head Start staff and families. DHLs are encouraged to save this site as a favorite and refer to it often when responding to questions from Head Start staff and families. These materials cover a wide variety of oral health topics such as dental visits, fluoride, nutrition, oral health care, oral hygiene, and safety and emergency first aid. There are also numerous materials developed to help support Head Start staff in their efforts to improve the oral health of Head Start families and meet the requirements of the Head Start Program Performance Standards related to oral health.
These presentations, which have been approved by the Office of Head Start for NCHBHS oral health staff to use, cover topics such as engaging families, partnering with parents, dental public health, and promoting oral health during pregnancy. You may use the presentations as a whole or delete slides and/or combine slides from multiple presentations. You may not add any new content to the slides without approval. To download files, select the desired folders and click the download arrow in the upper right corner of the screen.
2023 DHL Meetings and Webinars
Practical Applications of Teledentistry: Expanding Access to Care- As a component of the broader telehealth system, teledentistry serves an important role in reducing barriers that communities and populations face when seeking oral healthcare. Increasing interest in using teledentistry as a tool to connect patients to their oral health provider when they are not in the same location has growing support from a variety of organizations, including organized dentistry and payors. This webinar will serve as a framework for DHLs to understand the goals of teledentistry, equip DHLs with the knowledge of how to explore the rules and regulations of teledentistry in their respective states, and provide insights on teledentistry-related resources. (October 2023)
- Using Telehealth Technologies to Improve Oral Health for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations
Making Head Start Program Information Report Data on Oral Health Work for You! - Understanding and analyzing data trends can provide dental hygienist liaisons (DHLs) with important information that can be used to help improve the oral health of Head Start participants. During this session, Dr Harry Goodman will review with participants how to access and use the Office of Head Start Program Performance Report (PIR) oral health data; examine concerning trends and issues that affect the oral health of Head Start participants; and explore strategies state DHLs, regional DHL coordinators, and local Head Start programs can take to improve the oral health of Head Start participants. (July 2023)
- Trends in Oral Health Care for Children in Head Start Programs Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic-Program Years 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022
Head Start Resources Are Just a Click Away- How easily can you find oral health resources on ECLKC (website) to share with Head Start staff, families, and health professionals? During this webinar you will participate in a guided tour with Sarah Kolo, OHRC communication specialist, exploring ECLKC. She also shares where you can find additional Head Start resources located on the OHRC website. Sarah provides basic tips to find resources, extended techniques for searching, and moves you can use to sign up for newsletters. Sarah is also available for one-on-one appointments if anyone would like further assistance. Sarah Kolo email@example.com (April 2023)
Oral Health Messaging for Children's Dental Health Month - This webinar will identify four oral health messages Head Start programs can use to celebrate National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM). For each message, you will learn about strategies and resources to promote children's oral health in Head Start programs during NCDHM. You will also learn more about the Final Rule on Mitigating the Spread of COVID-19 in Head Start Programs (January 2023)
- DHL Tracking Form - DHL Quarterly Tracking Form - Use of this form is optional. DHLs can use this form to track their activities each quarter. This form is intended as a tool for tracking purposes only and is not submitted.
- DHL Quarterly Progress Report (to be completed by state DHLs only): DHLs complete and submit this form each quarter to share the activities they accomplished.
- DHL Annual Expense Allowance Request Form
- RDHLC Region I-X Progress Report (to be completed by regional DHLs in regions I - X only, not state DHLs): Regional DHL Coordinators for Region I-X complete and submit this form each quarter to share the activities they accomplished.
- RDHLC Region XI-XII Progress Report (to be completed by regional DHLs in regions XI-AIAN and region XII-HSMS only, not state DHLs): Regional DHL Coordinators for Region XI-XII complete and submit this form each quarter to share the activities they accomplished.
- Meeting Report Form
- Expense Reimbursement Form