First Tooth

An oral health initiative for preschool age children, funded by HRSA


Program Overview
The First Tooth project is the result of a three-year $575,000 grant funded from September 2009 through August 2012. It is a collaborative effort between the state, Oregon Pediatric Society, Oregon Dental Association, Oregon Family Physicians, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Clinics and others.


The goals of the grant are to:

- Expand the dental health workforce in Oregon by using medical care providers to deliver early childhood caries prevention services to children from birth to three years of age
- Help dental and medical providers implement culturally appropriate, early childhood caries prevention activities in their offices and clinics
- Develop and launch a web-based training/education curriculum that is readily available and accessible to all professionals with a stake in early childhood caries prevention
- Facilitate referral relationships between dentists and primary medical care providers so all children will have a dental home by the time they are one.


During this first year of the grant, the project team is developing learning objectives for the curriculum that can be used to train dental and medical providers with face-to-face encounters and a web-based curriculum. The goal is to train at least 125 dental, pediatric and family practice health providers in an Early Childhood Caries Prevention (ECCP) in three regions of the state. 


In year two, an additional 250 pediatric and family practice providers will be recruited to see 3,800 children in medical facilities. At least 80 dentists will be recruited to provide caries prevention services to 4,000 or more children in the targeted regions.


During the third year, the project team plans to expand coverage throughout the state.


First Tooth is working with Washington state, as it has been active in this area for the past 10 years.

Jake Felix, MD
OPS Oral Health Initiative, Coordinator