Say AH! – By age?

As a healthcare provider- this is a short list of oral questions and manifestations that you should be looking for by your patient’s age:


  • Dental home by age 1
  • Fluoride varnish at 1st tooth!
  • Caries Risk Assessment 
  • Any signs of white spots or decay?
  • Inform caregiver that dental caries is an infectious disease that can be transmitted from caregiver to child
  • Encourage breastfeeding
  • Prenatal Pocket Card: This card summarizes key knowledge involving dental care in the pregnant patient.


  • Dental Home by age of 1
  • Caries Risk Assessment 0-6 years
  • Caries Risk Assessment >6 years;
    • Any signs of broken teeth or visual decay refer to dentist ASAP
  • Tooth pain interfering with school?
  • Fluoride varnish applications?
  • Oral Hygiene and Diet Modifications
  • Grinding or Snoring in child: evaluate for restricted airway
  • Child Pocket Card: This card summarizes key knowledge areas in child oral health and includes information on counseling at the well child visit, a tooth eruption chart, and fluoride prescribing guidelines- from Smiles for Life.


  • Caries Risk Assessment
  • Review Oral Hygiene
  • Eating Disorders- refer to dentist
  • Inform that HPV linked to increase risk of oral caner
  • Frequent headaches may be result of malocclusion – refer to dentist for evaluation
  • Mouth guards for teens in sports


  • Signs of Gum Disease: Bad breath, see root of teeth receding, loose teeth, aching pain that may refer into head neck region
  • This is chronic on-going inflammation that can affect other systems
  • If diabetic, the risk of periodontal disease is greater than patient without diabetes.
  • Pt may experience referred pain in neck region, ear, headache, side of face from decay into the nerve
  • Black/brown/green spots on teeth signs of decay
  • White decalcification signs of early decay
  • Broken teeth/”Stubs” at gum line are open channels for bacteria to travel and increase risk for infection. Refer to dentist
  • Fluoride treatments at least 2x /year to prevent caries. Fluoride in water source?
  • Diet modification- ACID ATTACKS
  • Dental exam at least 1x/year
  • Adult Pocket Card: This card summarizes key knowledge areas in adult oral health and includes recommendations for the prevention of caries and periodontal disease, treatment for xerostomia and common denture problems, and guidelines for antibiotic prophylaxis and anticoagulation management prior to oral procedures. From Smiles for Life.

Aging Population

  • Dry mouth limits the patient ability to swallow, decreases enzymes that break down bacteria, and leads to RAPID DECAY! Educate on sipping water, sugar free mints, Xylimelts found in drugstore  (see handout at end of packet)
  • Gingival overgrowth?
  • Broken teeth – could be source of infection
  • Missing teeth may be preventing good mastication and decreasing nutritional uptake of food

Developmental Disablitiies 

  • Visit dentist by age 1 and require dental exam 2x/ear
  • Increased risk for periodontal disease starting at a younger age
  • Sugar in medications, dry mouth, difficulty in oral hygiene can increase risk of cavities
  • Fluoride treatment 2x/year
  • Suggest sweeping mouth of patient hides/t pouches food in mouth


Dental Pain

  • Dental Emergency Pocket Card: This card summarizes key knowledge involving dental emergencies and includes information on the differential diagnosis, management and prevention of oral pain and trauma. (Smiles for Life)