Programs: Oral Health Screening Project


Goal: The goal of this project was to develop an easy to replicate model that would encourage pediatricians, dentists, community organizations, and businesses in rural communities to work together to increase awareness of children's oral healthcare needs.

Background: In 2007, the Tennessee Chapter was one of 5 AAP Chapters to receive a $20,000 one-year grant for its Oral Health proposal. The grant was funded by the AAP's Friend of Children Fund. The Project Director was TNAAP member Jessica Tuberty, MD.

A total of 1,000 backpacks were compiled by volunteer pediatric residents from East TN State University and distributed to children in the Appalachian area of TN, Johnson City, in a Wal-Mart parking lot. The backpacks held toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, information on healthy snacks and proper dental care, and a coupon for a free dental screening on one of two days. A mobile dental unit and a local dentist donated their time and services during those two days to screen 128 children that came in with their coupons. All of the patients were accompanied by at least one parent. Many other parents simply made dental appointments for the children without even using the free coupons.

This project not only informed children and parents of a predominantly indigent population, but also pediatric residents, about the importance of early dental care habits and the dangers of dental caries, especially in very young children.

Final Report (PDF)

Final Budget (PDF)