Recognition in Oral Health shows that a facility understands how important healthy teeth are to children’s overall wellbeing and school readiness. Learn more about our key oral health evidence-based practices and how to apply for the recognition below. Good nutrition is also key to children’s oral health. Be sure to check out our Child Nutrition recognition too!
Key Best Practices & Application Tips
Daily toothbrushing in an ECE facility can play an important role in children’s oral health. Brushing after a meal removes food which helps protect against tooth decay. Brushing should start as soon as children have teeth.
Oral Health Professional Development
The “Brushing is Fun, Start by Age 1!” training for ECE professionals helps facilities follow sanitation requirements and build teachers’ confidence to lead successful classroom brushing.
Water is the best between-meal beverage choice for children’s growing bodies and healthy teeth. Making water available throughout the day helps wash away food and dilute acids that can cause tooth decay.
Oral Health Policy
A written policy on oral shows that a facility supports children’s health and understands the importance of oral health. Written policies help the facility communicate values and expectations clearly with families and staff.
How to Apply
Follow the steps below, or check out this checklist for applying. This presentation and its recording also cover the basics of applying for the Child Nutrition, Farm to ECE, and Oral Health recognitions.
- Make sure the facility is eligible for the Oral Health recognition.
- REACH recognized facilities/programs must be licensed and located in North Carolina and serve infants, toddlers, and/or preschool-aged children.
- Facilities/programs must have achieved a score of “Leading the Way” on their latest Go NAPSACC Oral Health self-assessment (taken within the past year).
- Gather required information and documentation. Along with providing basic information about the ECE program, you will show how the facility is meeting evidence-based practices in Oral Health by submitting scanned copies/photos of:
- schedules showing daily toothbrushing for the age groups you serve
- number trained and example certificate from “Brushing is Fun, Start by Age 1!” training
- photos of how you make water visible and freely available to preschool-aged children.
- section of the family handbook that states the facility’s commitment to Oral Health
Use this print copy of the application to make sure you have all of the information you need to complete the application.
- Complete this online application. Review this checklist to help make sure you’re ready to go. Provide your email and a password to be able to save the application as you work. Either a representative from an ECE program or their TA partner may complete this application. Please complete one application per facility. Applications are due by Feb 24, 2023 for March recognition, by April 15, 2023 for May recognition, or by June 15, 2023 for July recognition.
Recognized facilities receive a profile on our website as well as a yard sign, certificate, and graphics and draft language to include in social media posts or family newsletters. REACH shares facilities’ success through social media and will work with TA Consultants to look for local opportunities to celebrate recognized facilities.
Thanks to the partners who reviewed this Oral Health recognition!
Thanks to Emily Horney, MHA, RDH, from the Division of Public Health, Oral Health Section, Christine Malloy from Western North Carolina Steering Committee of the NC Oral Health Collaborative, and early childhood oral health experts the UNC Adams School of Dentistry for their guidance on this recognition and their work to support early childhood oral health in NC!