[Skip to Navigation]
April 2017

Are Tooth Decay Prevention Visits in Primary Care Before Age 2 Years Effective?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Oral Health Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(4):321-322. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.4982

In this issue of JAMA Pediatrics, Blackburn and colleagues1 address whether preventive dental care for children younger than 2 years by primary care professionals, including pediatricians and dentists, reduces subsequent need for fillings and other treatments for tooth decay. They use data for children enrolled in Alabama Medicaid from 2008 to 2012. The American Academy of Pediatrics2 and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that risk assessment and preventive care should begin with the eruption of the first baby tooth. The main preventive service recommended is the topical application of fluoride varnish every 3 to 6 months.3,4