Dental Health Education for Community Health Workers

Dental Health Education for Community Health Workers

Providing culturally appropriate health education and information is one of the most important roles for community health workers. Because of their ability to rapidly establish a trusting relationship, CHWs are looked to for guidance and information in many areas, and can impart important, health related information in a way that is readily received and accepted.

The CHW Professional Skills Training course focuses on skills development. This oral health training is offered as one way ICCC is working to build CHWs’ knowledge base on specific health issues, topics and conditions. Gaining additional, health-specific knowledge adds another tool to the CHW toolbox that builds capacity and effectiveness in reaching the client population.

This self-paced training is offered to CHWs interested in building their knowledge base and impact at no cost. Gaining a basic understanding of oral health can help with public health messaging, early identification of potential issues, and facilitating access to oral health services for those served by the CHW.

This was developed with generous support from the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation.

Training Content

There are eight brief modules in this course:

  • Structure and function of the oral cavity
  • Tooth eruption
  • Diseases and condition of the oral cavity
  • Oral health promotion and prevention
  • Fluoride, pits and fissure sealants
  • Oral health and systemic diseases, oral health and smoking
  • Oral health in pregnancy, children, older adults and special populations
  • Oral health services and resources in Iowa

Each module has specific objectives and a brief assessment. The assessments provide an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills presented in each module. Those completing each module and assessment successfully (with average scores 75% or above) will earn a certificate of competence in Dental Health Education for Community Health Workers.

Intended Audience

The intended audience for this course is community health workers and other front-line workers that have client or patient-facing roles.

Learning Objectives

Provided within each module

Competencies Addressed

This training provides overview information necessary to acquire basic knowledge of oral health within the general and specific populations; the systemic connection to overall health; prevention and available safety net services and resources in Iowa.


There is no cost for this training


Online Self-Paced


Approximately 1.5 hours

Presenter and Content Expert

  • Dr. Olayinka Adekugbe, content expert
  • Mary Kelly, RDH, presenter

Technical Requirements

  • Internet access
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 
  • Speakers

Registration Requirements

Register for free access this training

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