In the United States, early childhood caries (ECC) is a major unmet health care need adversely affecting the overall health of young children from diverse ethnic populations. Nurses who work in the newborn nursery, pediatrics, public, and community health centers have a unique opportunity to positively influence a change in this epidemic of ECC. Guided by Leininger's theory of cultural care, these authors describe ways to implement a comprehensive culturally sensitive oral health education program for parents of newborns and infants. Interventions based on the best available evidence for oral health education, a culturally sensitive caries risk assessment, recommendations for fluoride varnish treatments, and ways for parents to establish a dental home for the infant by 12 months old are presented.
- Culturally diverse populations
- Early childhood caries
- Oral health education for parents of newborns and infants
ASJC Scopus subject areas