Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Smiles for Life

I’d like to introduce you to a very useful online oral health resource from the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. It is called Smiles for Life. You can check it out at And it is FREE for anyone to use.

Smiles for Life was originally developed in 2005 to support physicians training in Family Medicine residency programs provide oral health education and preventive information to their patients. Today, Smiles for Life is the nation’s most comprehensive and widely used oral health curriculum for medical care providers-- including physicians, pediatricians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, anesthesiologists, etc.

The DentaQuest Foundation has been a long time supporter of this project. In 2009, we provided a grant to the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine to develop a web-based, interactive 3rd edition of Smiles for Life. This state of the art curriculum is completely FREE. Anyone interested in better oral health can easily access the materials and learn on their own time and at their own pace.

Why is this important? The ADA recommends children get a first dental check up around the 1st birthday. However, a child will likely see his or her pediatrician as many as 5 times before the 1st dental visit. Primary care health providers can play an important role in educating patients on cleaning teeth and gums and advising parents on the dangers of allowing cavity-causing bacteria to linger in the mouths of their children. As the child grows, these visits are another opportunity to deliver preventive oral health education and early intervention.

Thanks to the Smiles for Life curriculum, increasing numbers of parents – young and not so young -- are getting essential guidance and prevention skills to help their families maintain good oral health throughout their lives.

Guest Blogging by Ralph Fuccillo, President, DentaQuest Foundation