The AAP has several resources to help you advocate for children’s oral health within your community. Below you will find AAP policy statements on oral health, public and private payer advocacy resources, an oral health advocacy toolkit, and community water fluoridation advocacy tools from the Campaign for Dental Health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics published its first policy related to oral health in 2003. Since then, AAP oral health experts have published additional policies. As of 2023, there are currently eight AAP oral health policies.
- 2023 - Maintaining and Improving the Oral Health of Young Children
- 2021 - Early Childhood Caries in Indigenous Communities
- 2021 - Management of Dental Trauma in a Primary Care Setting (reaffirmed in 2021)
- 2020 - Fluoride Use in Caries Prevention in the Primary Care Setting
- 2019 (w/AAPD) - Guidelines for Monitoring and Management of Pediatric Patients Before, During, and After Sedation for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures: Update
- 2017 - Oral and Dental Aspects of Child Abuse and Neglect (currently being updated)
- 2017 - The Primary Care Pediatrician and the Care of Children with Cleft Lip and/or Cleft Palate (currently being updated)
- 2013 - Oral Health Care for Children with Developmental Disabilities (currently being updated)
Public and Private Payer Advocacy
Preventive oral healthcare is a vitally important part of primary care and payment is a necessary part of offering oral health services within the medical setting.
Contest Non-Payment for Fluoride Varnish Application
Practices can download this template letter and copy it on to their own letterhead to use for appealing inappropriate carrier claims denials for coverage and payment for topical fluoride varnish application by pediatricians.
Medicaid Payments of Preventative Oral Health Services in every State
Visit this page to download a document with payment, codes, age limits, and training requested for preventive oral health services within the medical setting for each state.
Oral Health Advocacy Toolkit
Early childhood dental caries is the most common chronic disease of childhood, yet access to oral health care continues to be a problem for many children and families. There are many ways for pediatricians and dental professionals to improve oral health access by advocating for kids’ oral health in their practice, community, and at the state and federal levels. Included in this toolkit you will find ideas and tools to engage as an oral health advocate or to simply help you weave oral health into your existing advocacy efforts. Access the Oral Health Advocacy toolkit here.
Table of Contents
- Areas of Focus
- Advocacy on Social Media
- Contact Elected Officials
- Advocating Through Traditional Media (Op-Ed, Blogs, Newspaper, TV, Radio)
- Other Helpful Resources
Campaign for Dental Health
The Campaign for Dental Health (CDH) was created to ensure that people of all ages have access to the most effective, affordable, and equitable way to protect teeth from decay- community water fluoridation. Learn how to build healthy communities using the Campaign for Dental Health. Other helpful resources from the CDH include:
- Why Do Children Need Fluoride? (English and Spanish)
- Fluoride: Cavity Fighter (English and Spanish)
- Common Questions about Fluoride: A Resource for Parents and Caregivers (English and Spanish)
- Fluorosis Facts: A Resource for Parents and Caregivers (English and Spanish)
- Say This, Not That: Tips for Talking about Community Water Fluoridation (English and Spanish)
Advocate for Oral Health on Social Media
Help share messages on social media platforms to advocate for improved children’s oral health outcomes. The AAP Oral Health Campaign To0lkit contains materials for both patient outreach and education around oral health. The page also has a social media toolkit!
Explore additional oral health advocacy resources.
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Policy Center
- American Dental Association Health Policy Institute
- Campaign for Dental Health
- Community Catalyst
- Families USA Oral Health for All
- National Children's Dental Health Month Resources from the America Dental Association
- Oral Health Progress and Equity Network
American Academy of Pediatrics