History

Grand County was one of the first counties in the State of Colorado to implement Cavity Free at Three. The Grand County Public Health Department was awarded the first grant in 2008 and has been putting fluoride on children since that time.

Cavity Free at Three is a statewide effort to prevent oral disease in young children. The effort aims to engage dentists, physicians, nurses, dental hygienists, public health practitioners, and early childhood educators in the prevention and early detection of oral disease in pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. 

Our goal is simple: We want all children in our state to be cavity free by the time they reach age three.

Dental disease is the number one chronic disease of children in America, yet it is a preventable disease.

Grand County Public Health has seen hundreds of children since implementing this program.

Cavity Free at Three in Healthy Grand County 2020 Plan

Oral Health is one of the main goals in the Healthy Grand County 2020 Plan in the next 5 years.

Goal

Prevent and control oral and craniofacial diseases, conditions, and injuries, and improve access to preventive services and dental care.

Grand County Data

According to the 2007 Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by Grand County Public Health and Grand Futures, access to dental care for low-income youth is a particular issue in Grand County.

  • Only 45% of children had ever been to a dentist in 2005;
  • 50% of English-speaking children had been to a dentist at least once, compared to only 5% of Spanish-speaking children. 
  • Families who made more than $50,000 a year were more likely to have children who had been to a dentist, compared to lower-income families.

Objectives

  • Increase awareness of the importance of oral health and the link between oral health and overall health.

Intervention: Oral health educational campaign.

This campaign must educate parents / caregivers first and foremost about the importance of oral health with overall health, focusing on early childhood to prevent caries. This campaign will also focus education on effective preventative methods.

  • Increase the use of preventative methods, especially in children, to prevent caries.

Intervention: Cavity Free at Three.

This is an evidence-based model with the goal to have all children in the State of Colorado free of cavities by the age of three. The effort aims to engage dentists, physicians, nurses, dental hygienists, public health practitioners, and early childhood educators in the prevention and early detection of oral disease in pregnant women, infants, and toddlers (www.cavityfreeatthree.org). Grand County Public Health was one of the first grant recipients in the State to begin this program in 2008. Since then, the program has expanded into childcare centers. Our goal is to expand the program into the healthcare setting.

Cavity Free at Three in Grand County in 2013

In partnership with Grand Beginnings Early Childhood Council, the GCRHN is working to train healthcare professionals on the Cavity Free at Three model.

Primary care providers, or medical homes, can offer flouride to children under the age of three during well-child exams. These exams are the regular check-ups your child receives as he/she grows. This is the perfect opportunity for the medical home to make sure your child is healthy in every way!

In February 2012, we trained 3 different medical home practices in Grand County on Cavity Free at Three. This training was offered in partnership with Kremmling Memorial Hospital District.