This Quarter’s Theme: Babies and A Dental Home
Tooth Talk Tips to Encourage Parents to Take Babies to the Dentist
Did you know…
68% of parents say receiving dental benefits is why they enroll their children in Medicaid and CHIP?
You’re making a difference! A 2007 UNC-Chapel Hill study revealed that NC was one of just three states in the nation with 20% or more Medicaid-enrolled children under the age of 3 visiting a dentist.
Early dental visits are important because they can head off cavities and other tooth health problems that can cause pain, poor quality of life, compromised growth and development and, of course, added expense.
The American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and American Academy of Pediatricians all recommend a visit to the dentist a child’s first birthday, yet few children enrolled in Medicaid do.
So, while North Carolina is a leader in this effort, how can you improve those numbers and connect with parents about the importance of dental visits? Here are some great ways to start the conversation with the parents in your program.
1. Ask open-ended questions:
“What’s your concern about going to the dentist?”
2. Reflect back to the parent what you’re hearing in a way that inspires behavior change:
“I see. Getting Michael to the dentist means you have to fit it in to your already busy schedule.”
3. Follow up on the reflections by asking permission to share some tips for fitting the dentist visit in.
“May I share a few ideas that may make it easier for you?
4. Last, summarize what you and the parent have agreed to do:
“Great! You’ll schedule it on your next day off.”
To review the study, click here.