Dientes Fuertes, Vida Sana

Dientes Fuertes, Vida Sana (“Strong Teeth, Healthy Life”)

Challenge

Low-income Latino children in the United States experience high rates of severe and untreated tooth decay. For these children, tooth decay significantly predicts lasting physical, psychosocial, and personal and societal economic consequences. The factors contributing to poor oral health outcomes include caregivers’ lack of knowledge and skills to prevent early childhood tooth decay and access oral health care services.

Approach

KDHRC developed Dientes Fuertes, Vida Sana (DFVS) as a culturally competent training program to prevent early childhood tooth decay. DFVS prepares promotores de salud (community health workers) to build Latino caregivers’ oral health literacy and health care system navigation skills.

Findings

KDHRC conducted a feasibility evaluation of the DFVS prototype with promotores de salud at two evaluation sites in San Antonio, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia. Promotores exposed to the DFVS program demonstrated improved knowledge about tooth decay prevention, greater confidence to explain the signs and causes of tooth decay to parents, and greater intentions to conduct tooth decay prevention outreach in their communities.

Participant Feedback

“I learned so much that I feel confident to share not only with clients, but also with my family and friends.”

“Very informative tools for us, promotoras, to conduct outreach to our community. Thank you so much.”

This is important information, both for our personal lives, and to share with our communities.”

The training was very interesting. I learned things I didn’t know and it was fun too. Thank you for the information, and for this project to help our children and community.”

Product

In Fall 2018, KDHRC will launch the full program including a website from which community-based organizations can download Training and Implementation Guides and stream video content.

Related Research

KDHRC will conduct a rigorous outcome evaluation of the full program starting in Spring 2018. We will publish findings from the outcome evaluation in research briefs and peer-reviewed journals.

Dientes Fuertes, Vida Sana

Dientes Fuertes, Vida Sana is a culturally competent training program that teaches promotores de salud (community health workers) to build Latino caregivers’ knowledge about how to prevent early childhood tooth decay and obtain dental care for their children.

Staff Contact
Rosa Smith, MPH
Research Associate I