Objectives: The study objectives were twofold: 1. To examine how an intervention to apply fluoride varnish (FV) in a primary health setting to all young, low-income children was implemented and sustained and 2. To assess the feasibility of tracking medical care utilization in this population. Study Design: The study included children age 1–5, insured through a government program, seen (7/1/2010–4/30/2012). Data on age, race, sex, clinic encounter, eligibility for and receipt of FV was obtained. The level of data in primary care, specialty care, urgent care and hospitalizations to assess feasibility of future patient tracking was also acquired.. Results: Of 12,067 children, 85% received FV. Differences were found by age (youngest had highest rates). Small differences by race (81%–88%, highest in Blacks.) was found. No differences were found by sex. Ability to track over time was mixed. Approximately 50% had comprehensive data. However, primary care visit and hospitalization data was available on a larger percentage. Conclusions: FV programs can be introduced in the primary care setting and sustained. Further, long-term follow up is possible. Future study of such cohorts capturing health and cost benefits of oral health prevention efforts is needed.

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Author notes


Sharon J Rolnick, PhD, MPH.


Jody M Jackson, RN, BSN.


Terese A DeFor, MS.


Thomas J Flottemesch, PhD.