Creating a roadmap to advance integrated and preventive oral health in Colorado’s early childhood systems

Far too few Colorado children are receiving preventive oral health services as early and as often as needed for optimal oral health. Cavities is the most common chronic disease for school-age children. More than 30% of Colorado’s kindergartners have cavities, and those facing health disparities are more likely to need costly, restorative care.

Early Milestones led a strategic planning process focused on advancing integrated and preventive oral health in Colorado’s early childhood systems. The process engaged a broad and diverse set of stakeholders and emphasized equitable solutions to improving the oral health of all children.


Early Childhood Oral Health in Colorado

Early Milestones developed a statewide scan of oral health policies, programs, and systemic barriers to help Colorado leaders identify where future investments can be most effective in improving access, integration, and data. Early Milestones also created a timeline to highlight key events in Colorado’s oral health systems from the last 20 years. With these tools as guides, stakeholders developed a strategic roadmap to improve oral health equity for Colorado’s young children and families.

This strategic roadmap, organized around four goals for the next three years, offers ideas and resources for anyone who has a role in promoting the health of young children and their families.

The Roadmap also includes information about:

  • The context of Colorado’s early childhood oral health ecosystem, especially for communities of color
  • Connections to other related frameworks, plans, and recommendations
  • References and resources on early childhood oral health, health equity, and community-centered practice