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Strengthening the evidence for maternal and child health programs

Evidence Tools
NPM 13

young girl and dentist smiling into a mirrorOral Health


The Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program guidance defines the significance of this goal as follows:

Oral health is a vital component of overall health. Access to oral health care, good oral hygiene, and adequate nutrition are essential component of oral health to help ensure that children, adolescents, and adults achieve and maintain oral health. People with limited access to preventive oral health services are at greater risk for oral diseases.

Oral health care remains the greatest unmet health need for children. Insufficient access to oral health care and effective preventive services affects children's health, education, and ability to prosper. Early dental visits teach children that oral health is important. Children who receive oral health care early in life are more likely to have a good attitude about oral health professionals and dental visits. Pregnant women who receive oral health care are more likely to take their children to get oral health care.

State Title V Maternal Child Health programs have long recognized the importance of improving the availability and quality of services to improve oral health for children and pregnant women. States monitor and guide service delivery to assure that all children have access to preventive oral health services. Strategies for promoting oral health include providing preventive interventions, such as dental sealants and use of fluoride, increasing the capacity of State oral health programs to provide preventive services, evaluating and improving methods of monitoring oral diseases and conditions, and increasing the number of community health centers with an oral health component.

NPM 13 Tools

Introductory Resources

Summary of the Evidence

The following trends emerged from analysis of peer- reviewed evidence. While findings might not completely align with your ESM, they can serve as ideas for future expansion.

Key Findings for NPM 13.1: Oral Health During Pregnancy:

  • There is limited evidence about interventions to increase dental visits during pregnancy.

Key Findings for NPM 13.2: Oral Health During Childhood:

  • School/preschool interventions appear to be effective.
  • Public insurance coverage appears to be effective.
  • Medicaid reforms appear to be effective.

Access the published evidence.

Evidence Analysis Reports

Promising Practices

You can access strategies from AMCHP’s Innovation Station that have shown promise in advancing your NPM below. While these strategies may not completely align with your current activities, they can be used to help guide further development and measurement of your ESM.

Practice Name Primary Interest  State  Level of Evidence
Understanding Behaviors Survey Child Health AK Emerging
Home by One Program Child Health CT Emerging
Virtual Dental Home Oral Health HI Emerging

Sample ESMs

The following ESMs fall under measurement categories 2 – 4 and can be used as models.

State  Sample ESM Numerator Denominator Unit Category
VT % of pregnant women enrolled in WIC receiving preventive oral health care and education from a public health dental hygienist working in local health offices # of pregnant women enrolled in WIC receiving preventive oral health care and education from a public health dental hygienist working in local health offices The number of pregnant women enrolled in WIC Percent 2
** Number of primary care practices implementing State Oral Health Program after training # of practices reporting using screening, and referring children during at least 85% of well child visits 6 mo. after training N/A Number 3
MA % of community health centers that adopt or implement the MA Oral Health Practice Guidelines     Percent 4

Additional Learning

  • NPM 13 Transformation Tools (MCH Navigator and National MCH Workforce Development Center). Learning resources, implementation strategies, and links to the evidence base for the competencies needed to carry out NPM 13 activities.
  • Taking Action with Evidence Implementation Roadmap (Association of MCH Programs (AMCHP) and WCHPC). Archived webinars and additional learning and implementation resources.
  • Historical Resources from the MCH Digital Library (NCEMCH). This bibliography is automatically generated to pull resources from MCHLine, the MCH Library's online catalog of seminal resources, in support of NPM 13. Coming soon.

Additional Resources

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.