Monday Roundtable Luncheon
Maintaining a healthy mouth and healthy weight continues to be a challenge for many school-age children in Oregon. Childhood obesity and tooth decay can contribute to increased absenteeism, poor school performance, poor self-esteem, and less success later in life.
The Oregon Health Authority has conducted a smile survey every five years since 2002. In 2012, an assessment of student body mass index (BMI) was added to the survey. Now called the Oregon Smile and Healthy Growth Survey, Oregon tracks the overall burden of oral health issues related to tooth decay and prevalence of overweight and obesity among children in first, second and third grades. Results are used to help identify populations at greatest risk and disparities based on race and ethnicity, household income and geographic residence.
This roundtable will describe the methods used and lessons learned from adding a healthy growth component to the smile survey. This includes supplies needed for a BMI calculation and specific training provided to dental hygienists. Weight and height can be sensitive issues for students and parents, so extra attention is needed to prevent unintended consequences from conducting a weight-focused activity.
This session will also highlight results from the 2017 Oregon Smile and Healthy Growth Survey and discuss improvements made to its methodology. Enhancements include using a 7-region sampling approach versus 6-regions and collaborating with the Oregon Department of Education to obtain some data points directly (e.g. language spoken at home, race/ethnicity).