NYSDA Publications

USPSTF Issues Final Recommendation and Evidence Summary on Screening and Interventions to Prevent Dental Caries in Children Younger Than Age 5 Years

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has issued its final recommendation and evidence summary on screening and interventions to prevent dental caries in children younger than age 5 years.  You can read the complete USPSTF notice on its final recommendation on screening and interventions to prevent dental caries in children younger than age 5 years below.

u s preventive services task force

December 7, 2021

Final Recommendation Statement:

Screening and Interventions to Prevent Dental Caries in Children

Final Recommendation Statement: Screening and Interventions to Prevent Dental Caries in Children Younger Than 5 Years

The USPSTF released today a final recommendation statement on screening and interventions to prevent dental caries in children younger than 5 years.  The USPSTF recommends that primary care clinicians apply fluoride varnish to the teeth of all children beginning when their teeth first start coming in and prescribe oral fluoride supplementation for children 6 months and older whose water supply doesn’t contain enough fluoride.  The USPSTF determined that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against primary care clinicians regularly screening for cavities with an exam in children younger than 5 years old.  To view the recommendation, the evidence on which it is based, and a summary for clinicians, go here.  The final recommendation statement can also be found in the December 7, 2021, online issue of JAMA.

The Final Recommendation Statement Is Available

read the final recommendation

FINAL RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

See the full statement

Population

Recommendation

Grade

Children younger than 5 years

The USPSTF recommends that primary care clinicians prescribe oral fluoride supplementation starting at age 6 months for children whose water supply is deficient in fluoride.

B

Children younger than 5 years

The USPSTF recommends that primary care clinicians apply fluoride varnish to the primary teeth of all infants and children starting at the age of primary tooth eruption.

B

Children younger than 5 years

The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of routine screening examinations for dental caries performed by primary care clinicians in children younger than 5 years.

I

WHY THIS MATTERS

Cabana“Primary care clinicians have an important role in helping to prevent cavities in children under 5 years old,” says USPSTF member Michael Cabana, M.D., M.A., M.P.H.  “By applying fluoride varnish starting when children’s teeth first come in, and prescribing fluoride supplements for children with low fluoride in their water supply, clinicians can help keep their young patients’ teeth healthy.”

WHERE WE ARE IN THE PROCESS

Draft

Research Plan

Final

Research Plan

Draft

Recommendation / Draft Evidence Review

Final Recommendation / Evidence Summary


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