The Early Childhood Dental Network (ECDN) is a nine-county, multi-disciplinary collaborative project, and an outgrowth of the Early Childhood Initiative communities in west central Minnesota. It is designed to increase awareness and education to all children and their caregivers about the importance of oral health, and to increase access to dental care, specifically to the 0-5 population on Minnesota Health Care Programs or the uninsured.
There's strength in numbers
The ECDN's greatest strength lies in the partnerships it has developed. Through these collaborations, the ECDN:
Bridges gaps in services;
Works on the strengths of each partner agency;
Builds the capacity of current providers;
Makes a difference in the oral health of our communities.
The ECDN believes that having access to appropriate dental care should be a basic human right.
Developing and implementing a variety of fun, educational oral health trainings and materials, such as "How to Talk ‘Tooth' When You're Not a Tooth Professional," which has been shared with thousands of children, parents, teachers and caregivers to give them a better understanding of oral health care.
Supporting mobile outreach clinics to help to increase the number of the region's children who receive dental care and who are served by Minnesota Health Care Programs.
Working with Apple Tree Dental and Caring Hands Dentistry to expand community-based dentistry and Children's Dental Services to create and expand school-based oral healthcare for families with low incomes.
Aiding medical clinics with implementing oral health screening during well-child exams.
Continuing to look for new and innovative ways to help young children maintain good oral health.
Feel free to use this poster to build interest in your community for hosting a Cavity Free Kids/Talk Tooth Presentation. The Cavity Free Kids curriculum was designed to teach oral health in the classroom or child care setting.