Behavioral Health, Mental Health, Substance Abuse
Open Wide: An Interprofessional Review of Children’s Dental Health Books.
(Other Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Office of Oral Health Other)
OBJECTIVE: Dental caries is more prevalent in children than asthma. To encourage healthy oral health habits in children, increase the oral health literacy of both child & parent, and to encourage general literacy & book reading, a list of oral health books for children recommended by an interprofessional group of reviewers for use by pediatric dentists & dental hygienists, pediatricians, nurses, librarians and early childhood teachers was developed. METHODS: Currently available oral health books for children under the age of 7 were reviewed using an evaluation tool developed by the authors. Several review sessions were held in various locations. Once all books had been evaluated by 5 or more reviewers, the evaluations were analyzed. RESULTS: Recommended books were placed in one of the following categories: Oral Health Care, About Teeth, Going to the Dentist, What Dental Health Professionals Do. Comments and a key provide additional insight into the book’s content & use. The lists are posted on the website of the Health Sciences & Human Services Library, University of Maryland, Baltimore. Plans are to share with health professional & educational organizations, publishers of specialty children’s books, and the members of the Maryland Dental Action Coalition & its counterparts throughout the U.S. CONCLUSIONS: Providing health professionals, educators & librarians with a list of recommended children’s oral health books is hoped to improve the oral health literacy of both the child & their primary caregivers. These lists will be especially helpful during February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month. A future goal is to partner with publishers with literacy programs to allow a select number of titles for purchase at a low cost so that all children in Maryland will have an oral health book in their personal library.