Association‌ of‌ State‌ &‌ Territorial‌ Dental‌ Directors
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Phone‌ 775-626-5008‌‌

Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries


Practice Number: 08002
Submitted By: Bureau of Community Health, Connecticut Department of Public Health
Submission Date: March 2002
Last Reviewed: September 2009
Last Updated: September 2009
Best Practice Approach Example OPEN WIDE
OPEN WIDE is an oral health-training program for non-dental health and human services providers throughout Connecticut, including physicians, nurses, nutritionists, childcare and outreach workers, and others. OPEN WIDE training is designed to:

1. Educate health and human service providers about the importance of oral health in early childhood development;

2. Build awareness and integrate oral health into existing health systems;

3. Enable non-dental providers to recognize and understand oral diseases and conditions;

4. Enable non-dental providers to engage in anticipatory guidance and prevention interventions, and make appropriate referral for improved oral health;

5. Make a positive impact on overall health and well-being through improved oral health.

The components of OPEN WIDE include: calibrated and standardized trainer training, a trainer's slide guide with presentation script, a full-production custom binder that includes a 70-page modular curriculum (with sections on Dental Decay, Early Childhood Caries (ECC), Risk Factors for Dental Disease, Prevention, What To Do, and How To Do It), laminated quick-reference fact sheets and clinical guides, extensive Appendices with a broad range of resources, a CD with a 45-minute slide presentation on ECC and over 50 additional slides for customizing presentations, and a continuous-loop DVD in English and Spanish for clients to view in waiting rooms. Currently, the training curriculum focuses on early childhood. Supplemental modules are being developed on Perinatal Oral Health and Geriatric Dentistry. An evaluation protocol will be implemented to assure the effectiveness of the curriculum and training methodology in achieving OPEN WIDE goals, and to identify the strengths and weaknesses in OPEN WIDE to guide further program modification and enhancement. The program began training the trainers in 2002.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Linda Ferraro, RDH, Assistant State Oral Health Director, Connecticut Department of Public Health, 410 Capitol Avenue, MS# 11 CHB, Hartford, CT 06134-0308, Phone: 860-509-8203, Fax: 860-509-7853, Email: