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Dental Exam/Services


NOCAC Head Start staff will support families in completing the dental exam within 90 calendar days of the child’s entry into the program.



Pregnant Woman (PW)

Pregnant women will have a record of dental exam within the first 90 days of enrollment.  They should have their teeth cleaned and checked early in their pregnancy.  Gum disease has been linked to premature low birth-weight babies.

Birth – 1 Year

A visit to the dentist shall occur after the first tooth erupts or by 12 months of age, whichever comes first.  The infants primary care physician or pediatrician shall provide an oral health assessment and document at each well baby visit.

1-5 Years

Every child will receive a yearly dental exam within the first 90 days of the first day of class, home visit or socialization.  All children are encouraged to maintain oral health visits every 6 months.


The Head Start (Oral Health Form) will be used to document all visits and followup for services for PW and children ages 1-5 that are being provided by a dental provider.

For participants Birth to 1 year, the record of oral health assessments or screening performed by medical provider will be noted or documented on the well-baby exam.



  1. At the time of enrollment, the Child Development staff and/or Family Service staff will inform parents/guardians of the participant of the program health requirements and request they schedule a dental examination. If the participant does not have insurance coverage, staff will refer them to Ohio Medicaid.
    1. If the child has seen a dentist in the past 10 months, staff will have the parent/guardian sign a Oral Health Form or Release of Information (ROI) and forward to the Central Office for processing.
  2. All participants shall receive a dental exam within 90 calendar days of the entry into the program or 90 days after the first tooth eruption for infants.
  3. The parent/guardian will be asked to complete a Health/Dental/Dietary History Form at the 1st Home Visit. This form also provides a history of the child’s dental services, sources of drinking water, medical conditions and source of payment for services.
  4. Records/forms documenting the child’s exam date and follow-up treatment will be maintained in the child’s record, entered into ChildPlus by data entry specialists, and reviewed by the Health & Safety Manager in order of priority.
  5. A re-examination will be done one year from the initial exam date unless there are parental concerns and/or the child is complaining of pain, swelling, other problems or the dentist recommends more frequent visits.
  6. Staff will monitor/track for the timely provision of dental services throughout the program year.
  7. Dental exams are valid for 13 months.
  8. The Health & Safety Manager will monitor which participants do not have an exam prior to the 90 day regiment.
  9. The Health/Nutrition Manager is notified by the Family Advocate (FA) Center Manager, or Teacher of any child without an exam. A plan, which may involve transporting and/or paying for needed services is put into place. The FA may work with the family via case management to find a dental home. The FA will encourage the family to complete a Family Strength/Need form if the family desires to do so.
    1. Case Management will be entered into ChildPlus by the FA.
  10. Services will continue for the enrolled child and a written plan will be developed with the parent/guardian and FA to get the dental completed.
    1. Case Management will be entered into ChildPlus by the FA.
  11. NOCAC will coordinate agreement/contracts with local area dentists for the provision of dental services to enrolled children who are without an established source of dental care.
    1. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is kept on file in the Health/Nutrition Manager’s Office.
  12. Due to the shortage of dental providers in our service area, families are encouraged to work with NOCAC’s contracted dentists. Staff can refer to the Dental Dayz Policy for further guidance.


Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1302.43
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    


Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   9/30/20, 6/17/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    
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