Primary tooth decay, or childhood cavities, is the most common chronic disease among children in the U.S. Although many people do not think of childhood cavities as a “disease,” poor dental health can impact a child’s health and well-being, families’ finances, and community resources. Minority and low-income children, including Latino children, suffer childhood cavities in greater numbers compared to White, non-Hispanic children – and the consequences of these cavities are often worse and longer lasting.
The good news is that organizations like yours are in a great position to reach Latino parents with tooth decay prevention information through outreach by promotores de salud (promotores). The Dientes Fuertes, Vida Sana (DFVS) program can efficiently and effectively train promotores with knowledge and skills to conduct this important outreach.
DFVS is a training program that prepares promotores to conduct outreach to low-income Latino parents of children from birth to age six. DFVS aims to improve parents’ dental health literacy and dental health system navigation skills to prevent primary tooth decay among Latino children in low-income communities.
The DFVS program contains three bilingual English/Spanish components: an Implementation Guide, a Facilitator’s Guide, and a video series. The Implementation Guide provides information and steps necessary for community-based organizations to build their capacity to implement the DFVS program. The Facilitator’s Guide includes six sessions for a facilitator to implement with promotores. The Facilitator’s Guide contains step-by-step instructions, activities, and training materials for each session. The video series reinforces the training sessions’ key points through storytelling and models tooth decay prevention outreach for discussion in each session.
DFVS was created by KDH Research & Communication with funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (grant number R44DE023713). Its content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research or the National Institutes of Health.
KDH Research & Communication (KDHRC) is a public health and policy research institution that constructs and evaluates public programs. Our mission is to produce and disseminate creative, objective, and timely information to improve the health and well-being of the nation’s youth, families, and communities. KDHRC focuses on four program areas: Latino health, organizational studies, vulnerable populations, and drug abuse education and prevention. We create programs like DFVS and help organizations like yours implement and evaluate such programs. Please visit the KDHRC website at www.kdhrc.com.