Principal Investigator: Terry Batliner, DDS
Promoting Behavioral Change for Oral Health in American Indian Mothers and Children
The goal of this project is to adapt and test a dental disease prevention strategy for Early Childhood Caries, targeted to mothers of newborns living on a Northern Plains American Indian reservation. This project will develop a culturally-adapted, client-centered technique called Motivational Interviewing to promote positive oral health behaviors with mothers on behalf of their young children. Motivational Interviewing supports early implementation of positive oral health behaviors for young children through dialogue with mothers of newborns. This project will engage mothers in selecting key ways to reduce the risk of tooth decay for their child and will support the development of healthy dental habits to last a lifetime. Children in the study will be followed for 36 months, and their dental caries scores compared with those of a comparable group of children whose parents received standard recommendations for prevention of caries. Oral health knowledge and behaviors, and other relevant mediating variables will be examined for the two groups as well.