Babying Our Babies’ Oral Health: Promoting Oral Health in Infants


“For increasing the interprofessional approach to patient care.”

Awarded by Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP)


Every Midwife, Nurse, Physician, and New Parent Should Know…


An invaluable teaching tool for clinicians, other health care providers and educators to use in assessing an infant’s oral health and advising pregnant women and new parents on how to maintain oral health long before the first tooth appears. Childhood caries can begin early and is the most common chronic childhood disease—five times more common than asthma. Includes:

  • Causes and prevention of perinatal caries
  • Transmission paths of bacteria including from caregiver to child, sharing of food and utensils
  • Early oral hygiene advice for parents on cleaning their infant’s gums
  • Diagnosis of infant caries including chalky white coloration at gum line
  • Toothbrushing, feeding and diet practices
  • Age at which to begin fluoride varnish applications
  • For health professionals, positioning of infant at oral exam
  • For educators, pre- and post-tests that can be administered to assess effectiveness of presentation to clinical professionals




Go to OHNEP Resources for related organizations, publications, webinars, videos, and presentations.

Graduate students in the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program at NYU College of Nursing created this oral health learning tool as their Capstone project. They are: Brittany Charters, Codi-Ann Dyer, Joann Mercedes, Kathryn O’Leary, and Tami Schmidt. They based their project on best practices in interprofessional oral health advocated by the national Oral Health Nursing and Education Program (OHNEP). OHNEP is a leader in developing, evaluating, and promoting interprofessional models of oral health practice and education across the country.

Clinical professor Donna Hallas, coordinator of the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program, supervised the project. She is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and a certified pediatric primary care mental health specialist.

Oral Health education is now an integral part of all graduate nursing programs in the College. All students learn to practice oral health care and teach oral health literacy.