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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

The Mother and Youth Access (MAYA) Project- Archived Summary

Practice Number: 06004
Submitted By: The Center to Address Disparities in Children?s Oral Health, UCSF School of Dentistry
Submission Date: March 2010
Last Reviewed: March 2010
Last Updated: March 2010
Best Practice Approach Example The Mother and Youth Access (MAYA) Project

The Mothers and Youth Access (MAYA) Project was a randomized clinical trial that began in 2002. The study aimed to assess the effectiveness of a prevention management model to reduce childhood tooth decay (Early Childhood Caries [ECC]), to improve children's access to preventive oral health services, and to reduce oral health disparities in a border population at high risk for dental disease. The trial compared the 3-year incidence, or new development, of ECC in children ages 12-36 months of primarily Hispanic women. Mothers and their children were randomized to a Control Group or an Intervention Group, each with different prevention strategies. For the Control Group: (a) mothers received parental oral health counseling to promote positive oral health behavioral change, and (b) children who developed early tooth decay without any break in tooth structure received therapeutic "rescue" fluoride varnish applications at the same frequency as the Intervention Group. For the Intervention Group: (a) new mothers received parental counseling and a therapeutic 3-month regimen of chlorhexidine mouth rinse to reduce the bacteria that causes tooth decay, and (b) all children received preventive fluoride varnish applications to remineralize tooth surfaces at 6-month intervals starting at age 12 months and continuing to age 36 months. The study provided insight into effective recruitment and retention strategies for participation of an underserved, Hispanic population, and an example of a set of comprehensive interventions that concurrently aimed to address various elements at work in the disease process- physical, social, and cultural.

* This study was supported by US DHHS/NIH/NIDCR & NCMHD U54DE142501.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Francisco Ramos-Gomez, MS, MPH, Principal Investigator, UCLA School of Dentistry, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Box 951668, CHS Room 23-020B, Los Angeles, CA 90095-9460, Phone: 310-825-9460, Fax: 310-794-7168, Email:

Jane A. Weintraub, DDS, MPH, Co-Principal Investigator, UCSF School of Dentistry, 3333 California Street, Suite 495, San Francisco, CA 94143-1361, Phone: 415-476-3033, Fax: 415-502-8447, Email: