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Public Health Rep. 1996 Jan-Feb; 111(1): 63–65.
PMCID: PMC1381744

Preventing baby bottle tooth decay: eight-year results.


Baby bottle tooth decay (BBTD) is a preventable dental disease that affects more than 50% of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) children. A community-oriented program to prevent BBTD was implemented in 12 AI/AN communities in 1986. In 1989, the overall prevalence of BBTD for the 12 sites combined decreased from 57% to 43% which represented a 25% reduction (P<.001). Funding for the formal program was discontinued in 1990. In 1994, the Indian Health Service Dental and Head Start funded an assessment of the current prevalence of BBTD and the level of program implementation at the 12 original sites. This paper describes the findings. At the five sites where both one-to- one counseling and community-based educational activities had continued, BBTD prevalence was reduced by 38%(P<.001) over the eight-year period.

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