Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 9: Administration

9.2 Policies

9.2.3 Health Policies Oral Health Policy

The program should have an oral health policy that includes the following:

  1. Information about fluoride content of water at the facility;
  2. Contact information for each child’s dentist;
  3. Resource list for children without a dentist;
  4. Implementation of daily tooth brushing or rinsing the mouth with water after eating;
  5. Use of sippy cups and bottles only at mealtimes during the day, not at naptimes;
  6. Prohibition of serving sweetened food products;
  7. Promotion of healthy foods per the USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP);
  8. Early identification of tooth decay;
  9. Age-appropriate oral health educational activities;
  10. Plan for handling dental emergencies.
Good oral hygiene is as important for a six-month-old child with one tooth as it is for a six-year-old with many teeth (1). Tooth brushing and activities at home may not suffice to develop the skill of proper tooth brushing or accomplish the necessary plaque removal, especially when children eat most of their meals and snacks during a full day in child care.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Routine Oral Hygiene Activities Toothbrushes and Toothpaste Oral Health Education Storage and Labeling of Personal Articles
  1. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. 2009. Clinical guideline on periodicity of examination, preventive dental services, anticipatory guidance, and oral treatment for children. Pediatric Dentistry 30:112-18.