Head Start Oral Health Assessment

Rebecca Reed, Jill York, Nadege Dady, Rosa Chaviano-Moran, Shuying Jiang, Joseph Holtzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose A Head Start program located in Paterson, New Jersey considered establishing a school-based dental clinic to address unmet oral health needs such as access to care and the need for restorative treatment. The purpose of this study was to establish the oral health status of Head Start children, their treatment needs, and parents’ interest and willingness to utilize a school-based dental clinic. Description School-based dental care has been used to address access to care issues, particularly among children who live in underserved areas. A 21 item survey was used to correlate the results of an oral exam performed on the Head Start children and the parents’ preferences, beliefs and access patterns. Fisher’s exact test and Chi squared test were used to study the association among variable with significance levels set at 0.05. Assessment The oral exam revealed a high caries rate amongst all of the children. Parental responses indicated strong support for the establishment of a school-based clinic and identified the need for further parental education. Having a regular source of care was found to be unrelated to treatment needs. Conclusion Further education of the parents regarding the child’s oral health is critical to the success and viability of this school-based clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)962-967
Number of pages6
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Head Start
  • Health literacy
  • Oral health
  • School-based clinic


Dive into the research topics of 'Head Start Oral Health Assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this